Squirrels of all colors and varieties are incredibly cute but imagine a massive multi-colored squirrel with a long purple tail… now that brings the cuteness of nut-loving squirrels to a whole new level. Meet the Malabar giant squirrel, its nickname is the Shekru. Native to India, this brightly colored squirrel has an epically long tail that ranges in color — some taking on resplendent shades of blue and purple.
What first comes to mind when you hear the word ‘rodent?’ Sure, they have acquired a certain reputation as pests, invaders with insatiable appetites who spread disease and misery. But they can also be loyal and cute household pets, as many a rat, mouse or guinea pig owner can confirm.
So cute, yes. But magnificent? Beautiful? Probably not. Well, maybe these stylish squirrels will go some way toward changing that! The Malabar giant squirrel, also known as Shekru, is native to India and comes quite resplendent in an incredibly dapper multi-colored coat.
For those more used to seeing the American grey squirrel or its far cuter cousin the Europen red, the Malabar is bound to come as a shock. For starters, as the name suggests, they are huge. Stretching as long as 3 feet, they are much harder to miss than our own scurrilous buddies. Admittedly though, the brilliantly blue bushy tail accounts for much of the Malabar’s length.
However, they may be more difficult to find than their large size and bright coat suggest. The shades of black, brown and orange, as well as maroon and purple, can assist them in blending perfectly with the forest canopy, where they spend their time leaping from tree to tree. This is especially useful for escaping the attention of predators, such as various birds of prey and also leopards.
The Malabar isn’t too fussy about its diet and will eat what’s available up there in the treetops. Using their huge, bushy tails to swing around, they’ll search for flowers, bark, seeds, insects, and even bird eggs if there are any freely available. Lucky for all of us, it appears the Malabar squirrel is finally starting to get the respect and protection it deserves in India. So, while numbers may be declining in certain regions of India, overall, there’s a lot of hope for the multi–colored squirrel that is pulling on heartstrings around the world. We can only hope that one day populations will be as abundant as they once were, because seriously how cute is this little guy?