This little Gray squirrel is one of … thousands? that lives in New York’s Central Park. According to the park’s website, there’s never been a census done on the teeming population, but they do know that Grey squirrels are more common in the north end of the park and black and reddish-brown ones in the south end.
I did find a fascinating 1974 New Yorker article, “The Squirrels of Central Park,” that says in 1901, park staff shot some 300 squirrels in a cull to cut back the rodent population estimated at about 1000.
The article also mentions a 1957 study on how the park’s squirrels have adapted to urban life. Apparently a heavy peanut diet, common when humans feed squirrels, causes squirrels to lose their fur. A good tidbit to know if you’re a squirrel feeder.
And if you really like these guys, you can have a Central Park squirrel of your own. For $25, you can “adopt” Belvedere, a 6-inch stuffed toy squirrel that even comes with a certificate of adoption. Your $25 donation goes towards general Park upkeep.