Beloved rodents on campus

[photo courtesy: Dong-Ha Min]

[photo courtesy: Dong-Ha Min]

[photo courtesy: Dong-Ha Min]

[photo courtesy: Dong-Ha Min]

On campus, during almost entire part of the year, we have a familiar company along the paths: squirrels. These small creatures are so dexterous with their paws so they can run up and down the trunk and branches of the tall oak trees and they have no problem in checking the tall trash cans on campus. They don’t seem to fear people. Actually many of them know they can get some foods from students if they stay closer to them and demonstrate their photogenic gestures.

They are supposed to eat ‘healthy’ natural foods like acorns, nuts, buds, or insects, but they also enjoy the urban life. Remains of processed foods by human beings are simply too easy to grab and too tasty to ignore. I think those who enjoy licking the sugary remains of human foods may have some troubles with ‘bland’ taste of acorns.

During the fall season, when ripe acorns rain down to the ground, they become busy eating as well as burying them. They gain fat, and look great. I heard that they don’t actually remember most of their burial places for the acorns, but they can find them anyway because they bury so much.

At UT, students have a favorite myth that you can ace the exam if you encounter an albino squirrel at the exam date. Hard to find, but nevertheless they present on campus. Some are true albino with red eyes, while others pseudo. I wonder if there is any statistics to see whether these pseudo albino squirrels may affect the students’ exam grades.

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