Trapped squirrel reluctant to return

SANKHUWASABHA: There is a long list of animals domesticated by humans.

And in the list, one Jit Bahadur KC, a resident of Num VDC-3 in Sankhuwasabha district, has added one more animal — a squirrel — which has been

living at KC’s house for over 20 months now.

KC had caught the squirrel when he had gone to litchi orchard then. He had, however, no intention to domesticate it.

“After trapping the Rajpanchhi, I provided the squirrel biscuit, chocolate and milk in the cage,” said KC. But after a week, according to KC, he opened

the cage and let it go. But the squirrel, perhaps impressed

by the love and care he found while in the enclosure, did

not return to its natural habitat. The squirrel is called Rajpanchhi in local dialect.

“Nowadays, it comes out

just for having food. The rest

of the time, it stays inside,”

KC revealed.

Though it has been living in the house such a long time, it is not close to other members of the family. It plays with KC and also moves around his body without any fear.

Lately, the “new animal” in KC’s house has attracted many local residents as they often flock his house to have a look.

“Several persons from government offices and non-government organisations have come to see it. They provide me money from Rs 5 to 100 voluntarily to feed it,” he said.

Encouraged by the people’s curiosity, KC has also been mulling over its breeding.

“I’m thinking of reproducing babies by searching another squirrel of opposite sex,”

KC said.

“However, my attempts

from the past three months

have been futile. But, I haven’t given up hope.”

“It is illegal to rear any wild animal or bird in house without permission,” Gopal Prakash Bhattarari, chief at Makalu Barun National Park said.

Although the area had seen a good number of flying squirrel in the past, the number has been dwindling lately.