Think of almost every book you read as a small child. Nearly every one of them had at least one mischievous, adorable little squirrel in the story, or at least peeking out from a tree in a picture book. Remember Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin? Pure delight! Their chubby cheeks and fluffy tails make them quite irresistible. But why are squirrels so cute? Why do people love them?
People love squirrels for their sweet faces, high-energy antics, and friendly natures. From infancy, storybooks teach us that squirrels are clever, funny, naughty, but cute animals. They can make adorable pets when tame and are fascinating to watch as they are seldom still. And they plant trees!
Squirrels often earn themselves a bad reputation because they steal birdseed from feeders and unexpectedly run out in front of cars. In addition, they can be destructive by chewing through electrical wires and anything else that takes their fancy.
The rodents often move into attics and basements and make a huge mess everywhere. Homeowners and gardeners often consider them pests, but still, they are just so cute!
Why Do People Love Squirrels?
Although some people consider squirrels a nuisance, when you study them for a little while, you will soon learn some fascinating things that will make them seem even cuter than before.
#1 People Love Squirrels For Their Appearance
Squirrels possess everything that people love about animals. They have the whole pet ability package! We find the cuteness factor in spades in their big beady eyes and chubby cheeks stuffed with food. Combine these with their furry bodies and big fluffy tails, and you can’t help but want to cuddle these cuties.
#2 Animal Lovers Adore A Squirrel’s Friendly Nature
Wild animals seldom trust human beings enough to approach them, but squirrels are bold and friendly little guys. Squirrels become tame after a bit of interaction with people, especially when it involves food and treats.
They become used to living near people, to the extent that many will eat from people’s hands. These little creatures can eventually become lovable pets.
#3 People Love Squirrels Because They Are Intelligent
People sometimes question a squirrel’s intelligence when they dart in front of cars for no reason. That doesn’t seem too clever. But it makes more sense if you consider that they zig-zag unpredictably to get away from hunters and predators. It’s a pity that cars get in the way of said squirrels doing their zig-zags.
Squirrels are also quite intelligent and sneaky with their food storage habits. Competition for food is intense! Where there is one squirrel, there will always be many more, and they don’t want their neighbors to steal their supplies.
So they will pretend to bury a nut or seed to ward off thieves. The strategy is to hide the real food while the thief looks in the fake food cupboard! Ingenious!
It is improbable that squirrels will ever starve to death because these little guys will find a way to penetrate the most “secure” bird-feeder. They will get into tightly closed containers and trash cans.
Squirrels always know where food is kept, and it doesn’t take them long to strategize an entrance and a quick getaway. You have to acknowledge this cleverness, but it’s less endearing to some people.
#4 Squirrels Are Cute Because Of Their Crazy Behavior
These fuzzy little creatures make for great entertainment. Sometimes you see them in hot pursuit of another squirrel. They chase each other for a few reasons. It could be that it’s a mating chase. Males jump around doing acrobatics to impress a female so that she will choose them as her mate.
Squirrels, especially younger ones, are seldom still. Like human children, young squirrels also get rid of their excess energy by chasing their nestmates in play. When food is in short supply, squirrels will also chase each other away from spots where they have stored their food.
Squirrels make chirping noises and flick their tails over their heads sometimes. When they chatter like that, they are telling somebody or something to back off! It might be another squirrel or a dog or cat they see as predators.
Then again, if there are no other animals in sight, that furry little character might be telling you off! Cheeky, but still cute!
They are fascinating little critters! Sometimes you might see a squirrel rubbing acorns against its face. Though it seems a little strange, it’s rubbing its scent off on the acorn so that it will be easier to find later.
#5 Squirrels Are So Cute When They Get Fat In Winter
Nature has ingenious ways of protecting her creatures. You may have noticed that squirrels tend to get very chubby during the winter. They pack on the weight to stay warm during the icy winter months, making their cuteness levels soar!
#6 People Love The Way Squirrels Plant Trees
Squirrels accidentally contribute to the planting of trees. They like to hide seeds in the ground all over their environment but often forget where they buried them. Plants and trees grow from these forgotten seeds. Thus squirrels also play a role in expanding and maintaining forests.
#7 We Love That Squirrels Help To Get Rid Of Pests
Many people think that squirrels only eat seeds, fruit, and nuts. But they will also eat some insects, caterpillars, and even small snakes. While that sounds very unappetizing, most people would be very grateful to squirrels for getting rid of these intruders.
The History Of Urban Squirrels
As urban areas grew in the late nineteenth century, cities began to create massive park areas where people could enjoy an almost rural atmosphere.
They brought squirrels into these parks to foster this peaceful atmosphere. The squirrels were entertaining and delighted the urban Americans by interacting with them. People responded by feeding them, and they settled into cities for good.
Some Nutty Facts About Squirrels
Here are a few facts about squirrels to chew over:
- Squirrels can smell food buried under a foot of snow and will dig a tunnel to find their buried treasure.
- They continually gnaw on things to wear down their front teeth that never stop growing. If they don’t keep chewing, the teeth will grow into their skulls and lower jaws.
- A newborn squirrel measures about an inch in length. How cute is that?
- There is a National Squirrel Appreciation Day on 21 January.
Yes, some people consider squirrels pests, but if they take the time to watch them for a while, I’m sure they will see reason and decide that their cuteness outweighs their mischief.
People love them because they look adorable and are clever and funny. They even play an essential role in fighting global warming by planting trees!
Who wouldn’t be nuts about squirrels?
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