Thursday, July 8, 2010

They're Coming To Get Me!

I told you yesterday about the strange mob of squirrels I found at the riverfront park I visited; a place called Elizabeth Park. This was no isolated thing there. The park is just full of these squirrels. I actually encountered them in several places throughout the park. Today I bring you the squirrels that came after me.

I shouldn't have done it really. I stood there jokingly calling this one above. The consequences were really nothing anyway because he just stood there and ignored me. It was after I gave up that he came for me. And he wasn't alone either! I had no idea what I had gotten myself into.

My old friend Flynn the daring adventurer squirrel has nothing on these guys. He just poses for pictures and rides dogs. Oh, and he took some pictures of me once. I'm still waiting to see those pictures by the way. Maybe he'll be willing to share them with everyone. But these squirrels are like nothing I've ever seen, and they're real.

These squirrels are so fascinating, and the incident was so different that I made sure I captured some of this on high definition video. So I have this new episode of Rat TV for you! This video shows the squirrels literally coming after me, or more precisely, any food I might have.

Watch the way first one then two squirrels come running over to me. They are in stalking mode the whole way. When they begin to get close they veer off towards my right. Believe me, they are very close by then; right in front of me, and too close for me to keep the camera on them. Besides, that was when I decided it was time for me to leave.
This picture is from when the first squirrel began creeping closer. At this point I only thought this was funny. I really didn't think they'd ever be brave enough to come closer. How wrong I was! I have to say that I'm sure the squirrels meant no harm. They were only coming to ask for food. But their actions startled and disturbed me, an everyday adventurer who never saw this type of behavior in a squirrel before.

To be honest, I have seen behavior from a squirrel and some chipmunks that was close. The chipmunks would come right over, and I was a little worried by them as well. They all only wanted food, but they are still wild animals. I don't want to have to fight off, and maybe even inadvertently injure these little guys because they decide to crawl up my leg. I'd like to remain the good guy.

This pair in this last picture are two completely different squirrels than I showed above. The behavior is the same though. They are very aggressive in their search for handouts from humans. They really do try to put on good faces and be on their best behavior when they do this, but their movements are very aggressive.

This can all really be a little scary. I'm not just being oversensitive about this. I've had wild raccoons climb on me before, and they weren't nearly as disturbing. The raccoons were children, These squirrels are adults with adult faces and mannerisms. That might be what changes my attitude a little.

Even so, the bad reaction I had towards them was all my own. My guess is that most people who are used to this behavior find it very cute and harmless. Feeding them is not necessarily wise, but the squirrels are mostly better off for it. It's just the close proximity that concerns me. Mistakes can be made, but I hope they never are. I wish these friendly squirrels well. Watch the video! It's a fun one.

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  1. Since I have never seen a squirrel do something like that i would probably be a little nervous if one came running up to me like that. They are obviously very used to people

  2. They look really cute but their claws are sharp. My leg got covered with scratched when a squirrel climbed up me, even through jeans.

  3. Excellent post Ratty. I get pretty scared of the squirrels if they look like I've annoyed them when taking photos! They can be nasty sometimes so I would say it is always best to be cautious! The video is great by the way, if not a bit scary!

    Those cute grey squirrels unfortunately pretty much wiped out our native red squirrels over here. We now only have red squirrels in 1 or 2 places in the UK. And now, we've even got the black ones too, which seem to be spreading throughout the UK. (I remember reading your post about how the black squirrels 'happen'- or the link to it).

    I think I'd be chuffed to bits if I saw a black squirrel! And, I've only seen a red one once, in France.

  4. They are fat and have been taught bad behavior. The feeding is terrible for them because they are now full of and addicted to junk food just like so many of us.

  5. It is a carnivore, and the worst thing is it looks so fat but hungry.

  6. They are fat and huge! Ever considered Squirrel-on-a-BBQ-stick? :D

  7. They are so big! They would intimidate me in person if I were there!

  8. I would definitely not want to encounter any of these guys in a dark alleyway! They would probably mug me for my cat treats.

  9. Ha! Ha! That sure is a fat one! Mine get fat too but not quite like that. But they get the best of food. Only nuts and seeds. Cute post Ratty.