When John Koprowski, a squirrel expert, first encountered a Malabar giant squirrel, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
In 2006, when John was visiting India and first saw the squirrel -also known as the Indian giant squirrel-, he thought that the creature looked like a primate because of its huge size. However, this animal was no primate, just a pretty massive squirrel, as they can be more than 36 inches long and are twice the size of an eastern grey squirrel.
The large size isn’t the only thing unique about the Malabar giant squirrel, but also their stunning colored fur.
Their beautiful fur coat can vary in colors between shades of orange, brown and black, to shades of maroon and purple, which is extremely rare for a mammal.
The bright and unusual colors alongside the gorgeous patterns help these creatures survive in the wilderness. Koprowski stated that in the woods of a dense forest, these hues and shades are a remarkable adaptation to avoid detection. But when in sunlight, it’s just a mere manifestation of their “true beautiful colors”.
Generally, their diet includes flowers, tree bark, nuts, and fruit. However, some subspecies can also eat insects and bird eggs.
Moreover, these exceptional creatures have adorable clumps of fur on their little ears as well as strong forelimbs, which make them pretty distinct.
Malabar giant squirrels mostly live high up in the woods, hopping and jumping from one tree to the next – sometimes with 20-feet leaps or even more! Therefore, the chances of a sighting of one of them are quite slim. First, you have to travel to eastern or southern India, and second, you’d have to go deep into the forest hoping that you’ll catch a rare glimpse of these creatures.
Besides, they can be pretty shy and cautious, so you would have to stay very calm, waiting for them to come out of their nest.
Fortunately, these stunning critters are in no danger of extinction, but still, they need to be protected, which means that protection laws need to go into effect.
If more awareness is brought about for this standout species, then they can prosper in the future.
Koprowski reveals that their race is pretty ancient, as they are a rare evolutionary group that has been here a long time, luckily.