Thursday, May 22, 2008

Baby squirrel adopts park ranger

As adoptions go, this one is slightly unusual – a baby squirrel has 'adopted' a park ranger after apparently mistaking him for a daddy squirrel.
The rodent, named Oakley Junior, formed a bond with Mark Swift after being abandoned by his family.
The grey squirrel leapt into 43-year-old Mr Swift's arms for a cuddle and became inseparable.
'I put out my hand and he jumped on and looked adoringly at me,' said the ranger.
'Then he clambered all over me.
'He has lost his family and thinks I'm his dad. He's more like a monkey than a squirrel and I'm convinced he thinks he's human.'
Oakley has also won the hearts of staff at Central Park, in Peterborough, where he is given ice cream and cake in the tea room.
The rodent, named after the park's mascot, may have a lucrative career ahead.
'I was going to train him to pick up litter – he'd be happy with the wage, we get peanuts here,' said Mr Swift (let's hope the squirrel's sense of humour is better than Mr Swift's...).
Oakley has been taken in by a local woman but keeps in touch. Mr Swift said: 'I was gutted; he's adorable. But he will come to visit so it's a good arrangement.'

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