THE TREE SQUIRREL by Magaret Meintjes

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LOCATION CAPTURED: MAROELA TENTCAMP, The Kruger National Park, South Africa

THE TREE SQUIRREL – Paraxerus cepapi

These all brown diurnal squirrels, with lighter underparts, are a common feature of the drier savannah bushveld and woodland. Their undulating run along the ground and rapid passage up into a tree are both common sight.
These small animals are usually solitary but pairs, or a small party of a female and two young, may be seen. However, groups of two adult males or females, accompanied by sub-adults, or in the breeding season as many as seven young live together. They will mob a predator, vocalizing a penetrating clicking sound and flicking their tails, while sitting on a safe vantage point. Should the danger increase so will the intensity of the clicking, which will rise to a harsh rattle, while the tail-flickering tempo is similarity increased? In extreme danger they will utter a high pitched whistle.
A common sight in the bushveld is an individual about to enter a nesting hole and being confronted by the occupant, Nose to nose a mutual sniffing will ensure and, if the visitor is from the same group, it will be allowed to visit, but if not, will be chased off.
They are very agile in their arboreal habitat, able to leap for distances up to two meters. They forage on the ground and when disturbed tend to head for their nesting hole, which may mean leaping from tree to tree, they also habitually lie flat on a branch, relying on camouflage and waiting for the danger to pass. They also tend to place themselves behind a branch or tree trunk away from perceived danger.
Their nests are in holes in trees, generally made by woodpeckers; these are grass and leaf lined. Their vocalization, apart from the alarms, is a long drawn-out ‘tchuk-tchuk-tchuk’ interspersed with single ‘tchuks’, which are accompanied by tail-flicking.
Enemies are mongooses, caracal, genets, larger birds of prey and pythons. One two three, usually two, young are produced.
FOOD: They are predominantly vegetarians, eating flowers, leaves, bark, fruit and tender shoots of a wide variety of trees. Both sexes bury hard food, such as nuts, in scattered localities. They are very secretive about doing this and never do so in the presence of another squirrel, despite this stealing does take place.

I was born and still live in Africa.
Live a life close to nature, where I get the inspiration to do what I love most…., “Photography”.
Where I live and what I do is my destiny. I am grateful for the privilege

My Images Do Not Belong To The Public Domain.
All images are copyright. All The Materials Contained May Not Be Reproduced, Copied, Edited, Published, Transmitted Or Downloaded in Any Way.

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  • redladyart
    redladyartover 5 years ago

    Adorable! I have some photos I shot at a local wildlife park of a squirrel eating potato chips. I also shot video of him that day. They are so friendly and funny. You’ve capture this one perfectly. :)

  • Thank you Sharon, we have plenty here at the gamelodge but I never have the time to go and get them captured! My visit to the park gave me hours of pleasure just watching them! They are the sweetest little animals, I adore them! take care xxx

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Kendra Taber
    Kendra Taberover 5 years ago

    AHHHHHHHHHH…how cute

  • Thank you so much sweetie, what a very kind comment! Take care !

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Denzil
    Denzilover 5 years ago

    Now this is seeeeeeriously cute!!! Bit like my possums!

  • Thank you so much Denzil, such a very kind comment! take care !

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • wayne51
    wayne51over 5 years ago

    Margaret, nice capture. I did not realise that you had these in Africa. I saw some similiar in Canada and they are excellent subjects to photgraph. Wayne

  • Thank you wayne, we have plenty around and they really are a treat, if you have the time, to sit and watch them, they are facinating little creatures! take care !

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Sue Martin
    Sue Martinover 5 years ago

    That is just too cute… fantastic capture Mags xx

  • Thank you dear friend, such a wonderful and kind comment, as always! hugs xx

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • camerahappy
    camerahappyover 5 years ago

    Very cute!

  • thank you so much for your very kind comment! take care xxx

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Jan Landers
    Jan Landersover 5 years ago

    how precious…..i would not have expected to see this in africa either….those little ‘hands’ are so tiny and cute…..what a cute shot, mags!

  • thank you my dear friend, doesn;t he look like an old little man sittingthere with his arms almost, like resting, on his knees? i love watching these little creatures, they are just so entertaining! Take care sweet Jan !

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Dawn B Davies-McIninch
    Dawn B Davies-...over 5 years ago

    aww so cute, dawnx

  • Aren’t they just adorable! I love them, can sit and watch them forever! Take care my dear friend and thank you! hugs x

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Dawn B Davies-McIninch
    Dawn B Davies-...over 5 years ago

    oh me too, they are like naughty little boys hehe dawnx

  • SandraRos
    SandraRosover 5 years ago

  • Thank you so much for the honour Sandra, I really appreciate it, take care xx

    – Magaret Meintjes

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