Little furry brown critters with big bushy tails run all around Truman State University’s campus. Whether they are eating acorns or playing in the trees, there is not a day that goes by when you won’t see squirrels. Unlike most squirrels that you may have noticed, Truman has incredibly friendly little ones that are not afraid of humans.
Fear not they won’t touch you, and if you get to close, they are bound to run away. But they are well known for hanging out on the sidewalks and all around the Quad. Squirrels are a very common rodent in the United States and can be seen throughout the entire Midwest as well as in most of the fifty states. Squirrels are such a big part of campus that in 2016 the University carried out the believable April Fools joke, stating that they had received a grant of 1.4 million dollars to convert the “pit” of the library into a squirrel sanctuary.
While squirrels are a staple of many American campuses, they can be quite uncommon in other countries, so students opinions on them vary.
Chisom Onyekwere finds them to be cute a fun to watch; she doesn’t mind them too much since they have never bothered her. She commented, “in Nigeria, we have lizards everywhere, so the squirrels don’t bother me, since I am used to having animals around.” Many students here are indifferent to the squirrels such as Pasindu Tennakoon Mudiyansel who doesn’t have a strong opinion on them: “I just don’t mind them.”
While some students are indifferent, other students love the little critters who are continuously playing high in the trees. Brandon Lu, an international student from China, says “they are really cute and it is fun to watch them play and run around.” He also stated, “just like Kirk Memorial, they are a part of campus, and I enjoy them.” Mercy Tee, an international student from Malaysia, had a very similar opinion to Brandon. At home, she lives in the city, so she rarely sees squirrels, so she was surprised how many there were when she got here. “They’re so cute and friendly; it is so nice to see them running around here.”
The bushy tails are a part of both Kirksville and Truman State University. So whether you are just visiting campus or coming here to study, take a second to look around you, there is no doubt you will see some squirrels enjoying the school!