The Grand Canyon is home to a large assortment of animals that are considered to be exceptionally dangerous. Examples include the mountain lion, black bears, and charging elk; however, based on local emergency room visits, the rock squirrel is actually the most dangerous animal of all. Thousands of these creatures abound in and around the national park. Park Rangers that work in the National Grand Canyon often describe these creatures as both “unforgiving” and “absolutely ferocious”. If you are planning a tour of the National Grand Canyon, it is imperative that you learn as much as possible about the rock squirrel. Continue reading for information that will optimize your safety while touring this magnificent national park.
The Rock Squirrel
The rock squirrel is a very large ground squirrel. In most instances, these creatures measure anywhere from 17 inches to 21 inches in length and are molted gray on the top side of the body and mixtures of brown and whites on its underside. The tail of this creature is long, busy, and has white edges. This particular creature is found in the National Grand Canyon because it prefers rocky habitats. As you explore the national park, you will likely observe these creatures on the canyon walls, the cliffs, the slopes of the talus, rock piles, and burrowing beneath rocks to create dens. These creatures prefer to feed on pine nuts, cactus, sumac, saltbush, and similar items. It also consumes cricket, grasshoppers, and will even feed on dead animals.
When visiting the National Grand Canyon, it is important to know that rock squirrels are considered to be diurnal creatures. That is, they are highly active in the morning and in the period of late afternoon time. These creatures live in colonies. The creatures have been known to lure in unsuspecting tourists and then attack them throughout the Grand Canyon. In fact, people of all ages have actually been attacked by these creatures. If you are taking a trip to the National Grand Canyon, you should avoid coming in close contact with any type of squirrel as you tour the region. While most are not aggressive, it is much better to be safe than sorry. Each year, many tourists end up in the emergency room as a result of rock squirrel attacks.
The National Grand Canyon is an absolutely wonderful location to visit. While most have seen images of this spectacular national park on the internet and other forms of media, those that have seen it up close and personal state that the experience is like none other. While touring the park, it is important to ensure that you are considerate of the local wildlife. Most will not bother you if they do not feel threatened; however, the rock squirrel is a bit more aggressive in this manner. If you would like to learn more about the tours that you may take of the National Grand Canyon, visit us today by clicking HERE.