Indian Giant Squirrel (Ratufa indica)

Indian Giant Squirrel

Indian Giant Squirrel

With a length of almost 1 m (including the tail), the Indian Giant Squirrel or Malabar Giant Squirrel (Ratufa indica) is one of the largest squirrels worldwide. The animals live only in southern and central India, where they spend most of their life within the treetops. They feed on fruits, but also occasionally on bird eggs or hatchlings. Apart from habitat destruction by human population growth, the squirrels have to be afraid of larger birds of prey as well as leopards. However, if threatened, the squirrels can jump up to 6 m from tree to tree! The Indian Giant Squirrel is active during the day, but since it climbs around in the upper canopy, it is hard to spot from the ground. I have taken this photograph during a walk through the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala during September 2011. Most of the squirrels we saw were around 50 m away and almost impossible to photograph, this is the only shot which I am more or less content with. I hope you like it too (you may click on it for a larger view)!

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