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Animals of the U: Fox A. Squirrel

“My favorite thing about the University of Utah is the food! Acorns, wild berries, crabapples, and the occasional dropped Panda Express entrée make up the bulk of my diet and each and every one of them is delicious. People really aren’t kidding when they talk about the fantastic dining options available on campus.

There are also so many great housing options! For the past year I’ve had a nice little nest I built myself overlooking President’s Circle, but I have friends who live in roosting boxes near the student services center, warm nooks, and crannies around the Union, and one guy I know has a deluxe pad in the David Eccles School of Business, but I’m not supposed to talk about that.

My favorite place to hang out is at the College of Humanities. They really know how to make a squirrel feel welcome. Swoop may be the official mascot of the U, but if you check out @uofuhumanities on Instagram you can see which woodland creature is really beloved. And yeah, I know Swoop is a Red Tail Hawk and indigenous to Utah but isn’t there room for all of us in this great state?

I mean, why do so many people have to call me an invasive species? I’m actually the 40th generation of my family to attend the University of Utah. Sure, my ancestors first arrived in the Salt Lake valley in 2012, but since we can reproduce in just over 40 days we’ve had the opportunity to really make ourselves at home.

There are some people on campus who are obsessed with me, but I try not to let it go to my head. Every year researchers at the Natural History Museum of Utah have a “Squirrel Fest” and ask people in the community to send in where they spotted me or my buddies. They even keep a map on their websites with all the data. I told you; they’re obsessed.

I love being a squirrel at the University of Utah. Now I just need the school to allow non-human degree applicants so I can get started on my post graduate work!”

— Fox, a squirrel who probably stole your lunch