Wildlife

Squirrel finds an acorn at the Duck Pond, Sept. 27, 2018.

Walking around campus, you probably have noticed the very unique squirrel population at Virginia Tech. Depending on where you’re from, there might be a lot of differences between these squirrels and the squirrels back home.

First thing’s first: These ones are massive, and I’m not just trying to body shame animals here. I have never seen squirrels this big in my life, and they seem to feed on the endless piles of food left behind by every freshman eating outside.

Additionally, these squirrels are approachable. I have never known squirrels to be close to humans, or to dare go within 50 feet of one of us. These squirrels don’t even move out of the way that you’re walking — everybody has almost stepped on a squirrel at some point. It’s like they want to be stepped on, or maybe they think that they’re better than us. Their little beady eyes point at us and think, “They better move out of my way.” 

So, what do these chubby, furry little primadonna tree rats do all day? From seeing campus squirrels sunbathe across Virginia Tech for four semesters now, I think I have created a pretty accurate daily routine for these rascals.:

6:30 a.m. — Wake up, get ready for the day 

The Virginia Tech campus squirrel wakes up in its nest made from DX wrappers and Juul pods. Snuggled by its excess fat glands, the campus squirrel has developed a preference for waking up at 6:30, but really goes back to sleep until 9. “I need my beauty rest,” the campus squirrel says to himself.

9 a.m. — Actually wake up, make plans

The furry rodent creature is finally up and able to concentrate enough to realize Chick-fil-A is still serving breakfast at Hokie Grill. This spring day is a special one for the campus squirrel, because he finally thinks he knows where he buried his food last fall. “Ah, I thought I buried this over here,” he thinks of the DX chicken tenders he saved before his long winter hibernation in the heart of McBryde Hall. 

After his endless search for his food, the campus squirrel finds part of a chicken biscuit left at the tables outside of Hokie Grill.

“Is it wrong that I’m eating chicken?” he thinks to himself.

10 a.m. — Sit on a sidewalk for several hours

The majestic brown creature makes his way to the corner of a sidewalk and does what he is bred to do: nothing. The Chick-fil-A breakfast is settling in for him, and he needs a nap — but naturally, as a rodent, the campus squirrel is vigilantly awake during daylight.

As aware he is of aerial predators such as hawks and Blacksburg rain, he does not mind the human beings surrounding him every second. He sits there and doesn’t move. He doesn’t even have the courtesy to move out of the way for the students. This perceived entitlement the campus squirrel has is what separates this subspecies from the rest of the tree rats.

2 p.m. — Time for some lunch, and some sun

Acorns are for poor squirrels. Compared to other rodents, Virginia Tech squirrels wear Gucci and listen to music on AirPods. Lunchtime is at Turner, the best food on campus. One thrown out banana and Nutella crepe later and the campus squirrel is ready for his daily tanning session. Joining his friends, they go out to the Architecture Annex and just take this difficult day in.

5 p.m. — Love is in the air

Even the ever-so majestic campus squirrels revert to their most primal instincts. In the afternoon hours of the spring, we find the campus squirrels look for what they call love. They take turns in sexually terrifying each other by chasing each other up and down trees and through the grass. Ah, true love.

7:30 p.m.  — Dinner and a show, and back to the nest 

Feasting on leftover D2 dinner scraps, the squirrel takes a seat on his favorite tree, with his new female friend. They watch people in the quad play ultimate frisbee until the sun sets over the mountains. The two lovers part ways and the satisfied campus squirrel makes his way to his one-bedroom nest of DX wrappers and Juul pods.

Until tomorrow, Virginia Tech.

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