I was sent to the Assiniboine Park Zoo this afternoon to get a photo of the new Snow Leopard, but found out that it hasn’t even arrived yet. So, I spent some time checking out one of my favorite animals… the Eurasian Red Squirrel! I posted a cell photo of one awhile back and usually spend a few minutes gaping at them with my daughter whenever we visit.
Today I wanted to get a particular photo of one of these guys and spent way more time hanging around them than usual. I noticed after about fifteen minutes of silently urging them to climb the cage that all they really do is look for peanuts and dig little holes in the ground to hid them in, only to have a fellow squirrel dig it up and find its own little hole to hide them in. An individual peanut might be dug up a half dozen times by various squirrels before one of them decides to eat it…
After what seemed like forever and a day I started looking on the ground outside the cage for things to try to entice the little rodents to climb up and get their photo taken. Leaves and twigs… and leaves.
Finally, I hit the jackpot and found what I believe was a piece of actual squirrel food… some kind of tiny brick of squirrel granola bar half crushed and nibbled on. I started to rake it across the cage like I was holding a tin cup behind the bars of a small town prison. It worked!! Well sort of… half the squirrel bar fell away, but one of the little guys noticed me and sat watching me upside down from a branch of a dead tree for a minute. I stopped moving and pretended he didn’t exist, looking at him from the corners of my eyes.
It didn’t take long before he was trying to eat his way through to my fingers. I dropped the bar and it fell inside the cage… foolish me! But I got the photo! and he got the granola bar… until he foolishly buried it next to another squirrel who dug it up and ran off.
P.S. This photo was not taken with my cell phone… I’m hoping that you figured that out. I took it with my Canon MKIIn camera with a Sigma 14mm lens on it.