Today is Squirrel Appreciation Day, and as an Australian, I find this very very easy. I’m of the understanding the squirrels are quite common in other countries, but over here they are quite the novelty, and I tend to view squirrels a little bit like the lovable animated dog, Doug, from Disney Pixar’s Up.
The first thing I thought I would do was find out how many squirrels there are in different places in the world…and it came up with a number of squirrels in Australia. How could this be?! I thought, as I am yet to lay eyes on a squirrel in this country. Maybe I had missed the herds of migrating squirrels passing through my city? I decided to Google it: turns out I’m not the only one, as all I had to write was “Does Au-“ and it filled the rest out for me.
While definitely not native, they have apparently been introduced…although they aren’t very appreciated. You may not import them into Australia, although you may keep a desexed Northern Palm Squirrel as a pet in New South Wales. However in Western Australia and Queensland they are considered downright pests and you may not keep them. For those squirrel lovers out there, they are considered a pest here because they damage our crops, wiring and amenity trees.
This aside I am more than happy to appreciate squirrels in the places in which they belong. I must have looked like such the tourist as I spent my first few hours in Bali sitting on the balcony of our hotel room watching squirrels scurry and jump from tree to tree. They are incredibly adorable and energetic creatures and as you’ll see below, have the captured peoples attention many a time.
Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!
Something else I didn’t know: apparently over in the U.S. you can keep “flying squirrels” (similar to the Australian Sugar Glider) as pets? That’s pretty neat, if I may say so. (They can also keep Sugar Gliders as pets, but this is Squirrel Appreciation Day.)
Flying squirrels as pets:
Squirrels as pests in Australia