Yeah, squirrels are cute and all, but in today’s social media-soaked world, you got to take it up a notch if you want to be seen. The Malabar Giant Squirrel, also known as the Indian Giant Squirrel, tosses the boring ol’ grey/brown coats of your average squirrel for something more sartorial-minded.
The Malabar giant squirrel’s most notable feature is its unique fur coat, which can range in color from bright orange to deep purple, with patches of black, white, and brown. This beautiful coat serves a purpose beyond just aesthetics, however. The squirrel’s coloring allows it to blend in seamlessly with the forest canopy, providing excellent camouflage from predators.
Besides a look that fits right in any Fashion Week, Malabar’s are also accomplished athletes. They’re known for their impressive jumping abilities. These squirrels are expert climbers, using their powerful hind legs and long bushy tails for balance and stability. They can jump up to 20 feet between trees, effortlessly gliding through the air with grace (and style).
And don’t forget the “giant” in their name. They’re much bigger than your average squirrel and grow to about as long as a house cat and weigh on average about 1.5-2kg (3-4+ pounds). For proof, would your average park squirrel be completely unfazed by a monkey trying to steal its snacks? Sure the average squirrel would be mainly shocked from meeting a monkey in general, But as you can see, the Malabar couldn’t care less.
Despite their fashion sense and impressive athleticism, Malabar giant squirrels are considered to be a threatened species due to habitat loss and fragmentation. They rely on the forest canopy for food and shelter, and as deforestation continues to threaten their natural habitat, their numbers have declined significantly. You can learn more about their cause at sanctuarynaturefoundation.org.
The beautiful photos are from Kaushik Vijayan Photography who you can follow on Facebook and Instagram.
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