Little Girl has Dead Squirrel as Pet
The video below shows a little girl gleefully carrying around the body of a dead gray squirrel while her parents nonchalantly record the incident on camera. If that's not an Animal Oddity, I don't know what is!
I was a little freaked out when I first started watching the video and my head filled with questions. Why was this cute kid playing with an animal corpse? Why were her parents recording it and showing it to the world? Who would let their kid touch a dead rodent? How did the poor squirrel end up dead?
But all of these questions are answered as you watch the video and ultimately, you have to appreciate the girl's unashamed and innocent curiosity about the world around her, and her parents' efforts to encourage that while discouraging the potentially disease-spreading practice of playing with dead things.
Incidentally, one of the things that we recommend at the National Wildlife Federation is that you keep the safety of wildlife in mind when it comes to your pets (as well as your pet's safety). It sounds like Ivy the greyhound was on the leash when she killed the squirrel, and there's not much the owners could have done to stop that, but it's a fact that domestic animals, most notably cats, take an enormous toll on wildlife.
Gray squirrels are common, but when our pets kill rarer species it can become a serious conservation issue. So the message is, our pets are our responsibility and we should do whatever possible to prevent them from negatively impacting wildlife.
To end on a happier note, enjoy these pictures of living squirrels, which come in all sort of sizes, shapes and colors.
Photos via Flickr Creative Commons: Gray squirrel with peanuts by exfordy. Squirrel close up by Californian Em. Ground squirrel with celery by The Brit_2. Abert's squirrel by Bandelier National Monument. Flying squirrels at feeder by southarmstudio. Golden mantled ground squirrel by SimonWhitaker.