WILDLIFE

Zion National Park announces Fat Squirrel Week… it might not be what you think

Oct 7, 2022, 9:00 AM

A rock squirrel at zion national park, they are the focus of fat squirrel week...

A rock squirrel is pictured at Zion National Park in Utah. (Zion National Park)

(Zion National Park)

ZION NATIONAL PARK, Utah — In a Facebook post on Thursday, Zion National Park launched Fat Squirrel Week, an educational-awareness campaign. The park said it took inspiration from Katmai National Park’s Fat Bear Week.

Instead of embracing and celebrating the chubby animals as Fat Bear Week does, the park hopes to inspire visitors to avoid contributing to the squirrel’s girth.

According to the park, some of the “fattest rock squirrels on Earth make their home on Riverside Walk.”

 

It turns out that, unlike Katmai National Park’s brown bears, rock squirrels aren’t supposed to eat a year’s worth of food in six months to survive the winter. So all the banana and orange peels visitors leave behind on the Riverside Walk wind up helping our bushy-tailed friends expand their backsides.

The park asked visitors to become “squirrel stewards” by learning about rock squirrels and spreading awareness.  

Zion said that visitors can be squirrel stewards during Fat Squirrel Week by packing out what they pack in, and by “being selfish” and keeping snacks to themselves.

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Zion National Park announces Fat Squirrel Week… it might not be what you think