One of the greatest joys placing animals in your art, especially photography, is the fact that you never quite know what to expect. Such is the case of my latest creation titled Sumo Squirrel.
Anyone who continuously works with animals knows that they are living creatures with their own personalities and personable quirks. Sumo Squirrel proves this to be true. Most squirrels are to skittish to spend anytime near the ground while you casually approach them. Unless of course, they learn that humans are an excellent way to obtain a free meal.
To acquire an easy tasty treat, most animals will overcome their cautious natures and approach humans eagerly. This behavior leads to problems with wild animals associating a human with food.
The danger of harm to both the human involved and the animal in question only gets more so. People tend to think that animals eat the same food we do, a dangerous notion that can not only make an animal sick but could lead to death. On the hand, the animal can also become quite frightened by a sudden movement of a person and result in literally biting the hand trying to feed it.
Now, when a squirrel, a little rodent equally full of curiosity and the understanding that everything will naturally try to eat it, learns of free food then having a treat versus being the treat is momentarily tipped to one side.
Such is the case with this little guy. Obviously, this squirrel has seen and enjoyed many easy free meals. This guy watched me approach his tree and quickly jumped down on the ground in front of me. I was not expecting to face a squirrel. In fact I wasn’t even looking for a squirrel. So, I stopped in my tracks to gauge what the commotion in front of me was all about.
That’s when this little guy suddenly struck a pose. I’m not sure if he was trying to intimidate me or putting on a little show for his meal, but there he stood squatting on his hind legs with his little arms out in front like a sumo wrestler at the beginning of a match.
Unfortunately for him, I don’t feed the animals so I didn’t have any food. So we stared at each other, again like a sumo wrestler waiting for the opponent to make the first move.