A squirrel sanctuary doesn’t sound like a terrible idea with the unique type of squirrels we have on our campus at Fresno State.
Any time a bag of some sort makes noise, the squirrels quickly get attracted. Just like when our own pets hear us eat a snack at home and come running.
The squirrels see us as we take a seat and get closer for a chance to grab some dropped food or remain nearby to earn some discarded scraps.
The reality is squirrels should not be eating the same food we eat, whether it is a chip, piece of dessert, candy or other human treats.
Even though the way that the squirrels eat looks cute as they hold the piece of food with both of their hands nibbling it, the food can be harmful.
I propose that we should have some sanctuaries for them located around campus to prevent students feeding them.
I would suggest near the Peters Business Building. Another sanctuary could be in the middle of the quad area near the Social Science and McKee Fisk Buildings.
According to an article from The Collegian in 2011 regarding the Fresno State squirrels, there was a sanctuary set up outside of the Office of University Communications.
The brown handmade sign of this sanctuary used to be seen hanging on a window with little baskets nearby that were stocked daily with peanuts.
Back then there was even a week dedicated to the squirrels, which I would say is a bit over the top. But the sanctuary sounds like a much better idea for these little guys to gather their food source.
I would say that another good spot to place a sanctuary would be been in the hidden area between the Speech Arts and Music Buildings.
Every idea has cons. Who will provide these peanuts? Who will refill them? Who will make sure the squirrels are not being fed food they are not supposed to eat? What happens if the squirrel population at school grows and there are more to feed?
Our campus has an arboretum quality, which makes it an ideal habitat for them to live in. The squirrels prefer old, mature trees. I suppose the idea of a squirrel week is not that bad after all. But I do think a week is too long. One to three days seems fair.
If you do plan on feeding squirrels, you should limit the treats to peanuts, seeds and walnuts, which are per their usual diet.