Nuts for Cheeky Chipmunks

Coming face to face with one of the Big Five when exploring a game reserve is always exciting, but sometimes it’s even more fun when you encounter the smaller denizens of the wild. The story is almost familiar: while driving around in the Krugersdorp Game Reserve, a car ahead of us has stopped and we can’t find what they’re looking at. As we come up closer to them, the car moves on and we stop in the exact same spot, convinced that they must have been looking at something. And sure enough, they were.

Two squirrels were sitting next to a hole on the side of the road, chattering at each other. One of them came up to the car and none of us could resist those pleading puppy-dog eyes. Even though feeding the animals isn’t allowed in the strictest sense of the word, we nevertheless obliged by handing out cashews and pistachios to the pair of them. They were extremely cute, with their fluffy tails and their cheeks bulging with stored nuts! In return, they kindly posed for photographs for a good fifteen minutes.

When we finally bade them goodbye, our stores of snacks severely depleted, we discussed why they were sitting in a hole in the ground. We were fairly sure that squirrels live in trees, so we concluded that the hole must be their cache where they store their extra stash. And it must be a well-stocked stash as well, judging by the amount of nuts we handed out. Their tactic was working brilliantly.

For more posts in the Krugersdorp – Glen Reenen Breakaway series, click here.

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