Striped ground squirrel.

Oh boy, this Striped ground squirrel looks like butter wouldn’t melt, doesn’t it? I love watching them play in the trees. Not so much when they gain entry to roof space. Chances of getting any sleep are remote, especially during courtship when they tear around at breakneck speed chattering all the while. Grab some earplugs!

In Africa, there are four kinds of squirrel. The Cape ground squirrel, Damara ground squirrel, Unstriped ground squirrel and last but not least, Striped ground squirrel. we are looking at The Striped ground squirrel.

Striped ground squirrel
Striped ground squirrel | Just look at my gorgeous tail.
Striped ground squirrel
Striped ground squirrel | Yeah, I know, I’m cute 😇

How do they look?

They are moderately large ground squirrels. At around 27 centimetres and a tail that, at 19 to 26 centimetres, is nearly as long as the body. Adults weigh between 0.5 and 1 kilogram. They have a coat of short, bristly fur. And are pale sandy to dark brown across most of the body with a whitish, nearly hairless, underside.

A narrow stripe of pure white fur runs down the flanks from the shoulders to the hips. The tail has hairs much longer than those on the body. They fan out to the sides, and are multi-coloured along their length, presenting a grizzled appearance. The ears are small, and the muzzle long, with a projecting, almost pointed, nose. The limbs are pale, with large feet and long, straight, claws. They can be distinguished from the otherwise similar Cape and mountain ground squirrels by the fact that female striped ground squirrels possess three pairs of teats, rather than just two.

Scratch and sniff.

Striped ground squirrels live alone, or in pairs, and greet other members of their species by sniffing each other nose-to-nose. They move with a jumping gait, frequently pausing to sniff or look around, and making longer leaps when they need to move more quickly. And normally hold their tail horizontally when moving, or upright when still, and can fluff it up into a “bottle-brush” when alarmed. They can make a chattering sound, similar to that of other squirrels which sounds like an argument on fast forward. Source Wikipedia.

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