Meet the Most Stylish Squirrels on the Planet—Mind You, They Are Huge!

By Daniel Cameron, Epoch Times
April 24, 2019 Updated: April 29, 2019

This has got to be the most stylish species of squirrel on the planet. Sporting a crimson-red coat, they even come in red and blue—and you can’t miss that exceptional tail—the Malabar giant squirrel, known also as the Indian giant squirrel, adds a trendy flare wheresoever it pleases to leap and bound.

In saying that though, you’d be hard pressed to spot one in the wild. These highly agile arboreal dwellers are quite shy, and will quickly flatten themselves against a tree to minimize their vividness if they feel threatened.

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Bài viết do KaushiK Vijayan (@kaushik_photographs) chia sẻ vào

Still, these flamboyant rodents have taken a fancy for Munnar’s tea estates, located in south India’s Kerala state, where they feel relatively safe and unafraid around humans. Quite rightfully too, as these estates have partnered with the Wildlife Division of the Kerala Forest Department to offer a safe haven for wildlife, and poachers know they’re more liable to getting caught there.

Interestingly, although many people around the world have never seen this species of squirrel, which is endemic to south India, they’ve actually been hopping about the lush forest canopies for a long time.

Illustration – Pixabay | sarangib

“They’re part of a group of squirrels that is pretty ancient,” squirrel expert John Koprowski of University of Arizona told The Dodo.

These giant squirrels have unique fur colors ranging from black, brown, orange, maroon, and purple. According to Koprowski, maroon and purple shades include mammals. These giant squirrels have huge furry ear tufts and tough forelimbs.

“In the shaded understory of a dense forest, the patchy colors and dark hues are a great adaptation to avoiding detection,” Koprowski added. “But when you see these in the sunlight, they show their ‘true colors’ and beautiful pelage [fur].”

Their plus size, being twice as big as your average North American squirrel, makes them ever more so a fashion statement of the natural world. “These are giants!” Koprowski says.

They measure about 36 inches from head to tail according to The Independent.

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“They are pretty shy,” Pizza Ka Yee Chow, squirrel expert and research fellow at Hokkaido University, told The Dodo. “One of my friends who lives in India shared with me that the best way to see these giant squirrels is to climb up on a tree, stay very quiet and wait for them to emerge from their [nest].”

These beautiful squirrels are declining and could be in danger of extinction if they are not protected.

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“The real threat is the slow loss and degradation of forested habitats as humans move in and as climate change impacts higher elevation areas,” Koprowski said. “The good news is that they have a wide distribution and seem to tolerate human presence and even some modest level of low-density housing.”

A photographer from India, Kaushik Vijayan, who currently lives in Saudi Arabia, took pictures of the beautiful creature on a trip deep into an Indian forest and posted it to his Instagram account. Social media users were captivated by the beauty of this colorful squirrel.

“I felt so amazed by how drop-dead gorgeous it looked,” he told CBS News. “It was indeed a jaw-dropping sight to behold.”

Watch the video to see a Malabar giant squirrel eat a cookie with its little claws!

You can’t get enough of these cute creatures

Illustration – Shutterstock | Aleksandar Kamasi

These exotic giant Malabar squirrels come in vivid fur colors

Illustration – Shutterstock | Vinod Pillai

These agile creatures are capable of jumping up to 6 meters (approx. 20 feet)

Illustration – Shutterstock | Manu M Nair

They are a sight to behold

Illustration – Shutterstock | StudioDeKabir