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Smiths Bush Squirrel

Paraxerus cepapi


This is a small species of squirrel. Adults are only about 14 inches long, about half of which is the tail, and weigh about seven ounces. It is a light rusty brown or, in some regions, more gray in color, with a buff or sometimes white chest and belly. The video added shows an encounter with a bird...


Spotted at a waterhole (acasia woodland), close to Komatiepoort gate in Kruger National Park. Dry season. (


Unlike North American tree squirrels, the Smith's bush squirrels live in territorial family groups, with both adult males and females defending territory and nesting together along with their juvenile offspring. Essentially arboreal animals, but spend a great deal of time on the ground, foraging for food. When disturbed, Tree Squirrels will always seek the refuge of trees. Offspring become sexually mature between six to nine months, at which stage they are forcibly evicted by the breeding pair. The males are mainly responsible for territorial defense, although females will also chase intruders when she cares for dependent pups. To promote group cohesion, a common scent is shared by mutual grooming, which is an important facet of the social fibre of this species. Tree Squirrels are diligent in their grooming and a mother tree squirrel will hold her offspring down with her forelegs while grooming the little animal with licks, nibbles and the use of her claws. When threatened by an intruder or predator, the entire family group engages in a behavior called "mobbing." From the safety of a tree, all members of the colony make harsh clicking sounds while flicking their tails, gradually increasing the frequency and volume of the noise. This is probably done more to let the intruder or predator know that it has been seen and the squirrels are aware of its presence, so that hopefully it will move on to hunt in another place.

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Tiz 10 years ago

Well Sckel, they were both after a piece of tomatoe i threw away. It was an honest food fight :) And Fareding: HA! irony suits you :P

FaredinAliyevski 10 years ago

Good one sis, especially the video...soon you will end up producing nature documentaries with Sir. David :)

Sckel 10 years ago

That big bird wanted to capture the squirrel or just scare him?

Tiz 10 years ago

Thank you dear Sckel! I like the end of the video, unexpected :)

Sckel 10 years ago

Cool images, cool video and good information.

Spotted by

Nkomazi Local Municipality, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Spotted on Jul 21, 2013
Submitted on Jul 22, 2013

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