Indian Giant Squirrel - A creature to behold
Imagine this: A funky, rangy, weirdly beautiful rodent all colored in black, orange, brown, jumping from one tree to another! Wondering which creature is that? Well! it is none other than Giant squirrel more commonly referred to as Indian Giant Squirrel. Almost three feet long from tip to tail, Giant squirrel is known for its vivid coat and it looks too big to be a squirrel!
These sport round, almost Panda like giant ears, and they have large paws and powerful claws for climbing. As they spend most of their time jumping from one tree to another, these squirrels are athletic and can leap more than 20 feet (6 meters). Their lush tails can literally give the fox an inferiority complex!
Where to spot these in Madhya Pradesh?
To observe them in the wild, your best bet is to head to Satpura Tiger Reserve and look high up in the trees. This squirrel is the special feature of Satpura Tiger Reserve. Being a part of unique ecosystem Satpura Tiger Reserve is very rich in its biodiversity and hence Giant squirrel gets diversity of trees here to nest and feed on.
Since the tiger reserve serves as an ideal habitat for these it also offers good opportunities for sightings. These squirrels feature so many color variations that it is hard to find any two that look the same.
Interesting facts about Indian Giant Squirrel:
1. Giant squirrel is considered as an indicator of good health of the forest.
2. The sound of this squirrel is just similar to that of a toy gun.
3. These squirrels build nests way up in the trees to avoid predators. While they move from tree to tree, they tend to do this by jumping rather than scurrying along the ground.
4. Unlike the squirrels those found in your backyard or an urban park, which seem to function basically as a gang, Indian giant squirrel mostly live a solitary life and enjoy their own company! They only come together for mating purposes.
5. These feed on fruits and insects mostly.
6. When they perceive danger nearby, they lie flat against the branch and freeze, hoping that they are not noticed.
7. Satpura Tiger Reserve's emblem features Giant Squirrel. Since this species indicates a healthy ecosystem, therefore, Satpura Tiger Reserve has used giant squirrel in its logo.
One thing is for sure: the world is a magical place with these squirrels in it! Isn’t it?