European squirrel vs American squirrel

During the past Christmas holidays one of my friends in Germany posted a photo of a very sunny day in Munich and a squirrel in the park:

This is how a Friday should be: the sun is shinning and I have fed a squirrel… now the weekend can start.


Screen shot of my friend Janina's Facebook post: cute and shy European squirrel
Screen shot of my friend Janina’s Facebook post: cute and shy European squirrel

This post made me smile. Why? because European squirrels are shy and cute. It’s something special when you see one. They are afraid of people, so the moment they see you, they run fast away and up to the tree.

This has been my believe all my life… then I moved to California and I learnt that American squirrels are nothing like their European relatives.

After arriving and while driving around all these residential areas in Silicon Valley looking for a place to live, I noticed that there were a lot of squirrels. Of course, it’s super green here, there are a lot of trees, many parks… so it makes sense that there are also many squirrels. I liked it… at least I liked it during my first four weeks in California.

Five weeks later, I ran over a squirrel.

The creature was crossing and I had a car behind me and another one on my right, so my options were: to murder the squirrel or to cause an accident. I picked murder and I felt very very bad for a week and then…

I stopped feeling bad. These American squirrels are not cute, they are huge and they are everywhere. They move fast and they are not afraid of you, when they see you, they stop and stare directly at you with their cold full eyes, they don’t run away like their shy and cute European relatives. No, they stay and they challenge you.

Yep, that’s about when I started not liking squirrels. It was my week number 6 in California.

On my week number seven I finally understood this US commercial: 

Screen shot Squirrel attack commercial

Screen Shot of the squirrel attack commercial and video

You won’t probably be able to see the full video due to country copyrights so I’ve taken a print screen. In the end all you need to know is that a man is walking peacefully on down the street when he sees a squirrel; he then stops and the squirrels stares at him, then another squirrel comes down the tree and stares at the man, and then another one, and another… until the poor guy is completely surrounded (and panicking I must add). The next scene is when they attack him (as you can see in the print screen).

My cute and shy European squirrels won’t ever be capable of something like that. The American squirrels definitely are, I’m actually starting to grow a concern that due to their large number and the lack of food, they may turn into carnivores!

Bottom line: if you are new to the Bay, my advice is: stay away from the squirrels.

Don’t you find the American squirrels far more aggressive and dangerous than the European ones?


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