Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Squirrel study, part 2

Janell concluded her Mama Squirrel nature study with a test of her hypothesis that Mama Squirrel would stuff an entire roll of toilet paper into her burrow. As background, Janell noted she had witnessed ground squirrels scavenging TP from the public bathrooms at the beach in the springtime. "I assume that they are lining their nests for babies-to-be. Two days ago, I presented a mother squirrel several 8-10 foot long strips of TP, each of which she eagerly stuffed into her facial pouches in their entirety. I then imagined that she might indefinitely collect and store toilet paper if given the chance.

"I decided to fashion a makeshift toilet paper dispenser for her to ease the process of bundling," Janell reported, adding that she created the dispenser out of a wire clothes hanger, and headed back to the beach.

"As soon as I installed the dispenser, Mama Squirrel bee-lined to the goods. I swear she recognized me from the previous day. Oh! It's the nice Toilet Paper Lady!

"She'd take as much as her pouches could hold, tear off the toilet paper very neatly, scamper off to store the cargo, and then she'd quickly return for another load.

"Her little hands would flail as she frenetically formed the tissue bundles.

"About 20 minutes into the process, she took a breather, ran off some other squirrels and then resumed.

"She worked the roll 'til there were just a few scraps left.

"I loosed the roll from the dispenser and she tore that up, too.

"So--the theory ended up being fact. Mama Squirrel DID take an entire roll of toilet paper into her burrow. It took her about 40 minutes to do the job, including breaks and a food search.

"I bet she would take a whole CASE of toilet paper."


Teddy said...

Many times when digging to one of my dachshunds baying a groundhog aka woodchuck) I will find sheets of plastic stuffed in the tunnels as part of the bedding. Apparently the groundhogs take the plastic from the crop bed covers, shred it a bit then drag it to their 'bedrooms'. The dogs often get caught up in the tangle or have to pull it out with their teeth. Usually a groundhog's nest is made of tightly packed grass/hay/leaves, but on the farms where I do control work, they use mainly plastic. Perhaps it helps keep the dampness from entering the grassy bed.

NorCal Cazadora said...

That story rocks.

My cat also liked it. She's thinking toilet paper would decoy those squirrels right into her pouncing range.

Missy "Photographer Sydney" John said...

I really laugh when I saw the photos!
Thank you for sharing!