Sunflower stem being eaten (established plant)

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Hi, just wondering if anyone knows what is doing this to my sunflower stem, it is potted and 4 foot, ready to flower soon. Thanks.
 

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Atlantic Beach, Fl
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I have the same problem I just noticed yesterday. My first guess is a gray squirrel, because I have a problem with them eating the flower heads off my sunflowers before they've even had a chance to form seeds. However, this plant doesn't even have a flower head yet.

It's currently about 2-meters high and I don't know if it can now form a flower head. So I'm still monitoring.
 
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Ah, this makes sense, a lot of grey squirrels in the area. Thanks for your response. I don’t know whether to put something outside they’d rather eat or would this encourage them into the garden more? Hmm.
 

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