Although we have all seen squirrels, you have surely never caught a glimpse of a squirrel like this. John Koprowski is a squirrel expert and an associate director at the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona. He was equally amazed and enthralled after he came across the Malabar giant squirrel. This squirrel is also known as the Indian giant squirrel or Shekru and is native to India.
Due to its enormous body that stretches for almost 3 feet, the creature is similar to a primate than a squirrel. John encountered this beautiful squirrel while visiting India. It is not just the size of the Malabar giant squirrel that is amazing, even its body shades make the squirrel unique and captivating. According to John, “These are giants”. The large squirrel is twice the size of the eastern gray squirrel and is like no other ordinary squirrel that we come across in everyday life.
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Their fur color ranges from black, brown, orange, maroon to even purple. The purple and maroon hues are rather unique, thus making the creature look out of this world extraordinary. Their bright coats aren’t there just for looks, the eye-catching colors actually help them to survive in the wild and blend in with the forest canopy. When living in dense forests, the dark hues and patchy colors allow these giant squirrels to avoid the gaze of predators such as leopards.
It is only when they come out into the sunlight that their true colors are observable, and trust me it is a feast for your eyes. The Malabar giant squirrel’s diet consists of flowers, nuts, fruit, bird eggs, insects, and tree bark. The squirrel doesn’t visit the ground very often and lives in the forest canopy up high.
These creatures jump and leap from tree to tree and can leap over 20 feet at times. Luckily the Malabar giant squirrel is presently not in danger of extinction. Nevertheless, they do need to be protected from those who hunt these innocent animals for their stunning fur. It is no easy task to spot this animal since you have to travel into the deep forests in Eastern or Southern India just to catch a glimpse of it.