Cape Ground Squirrel

Driving on the gravel road near Nieu-Bethesda something darted across the road.
“Don’t hit the meerkat!” my wife shouted.
“That’s not a meerkat,” was my response.
“Don’t hit the mongoose then,” she said.
“Also not a mongoose,” I answered. “It’s a ground squirrel.”
“It does look like a squirrel,” she observed.

The Cape Ground Squirrel (Geosciurus inauris) is found in most of the drier parts of southern Africa. The name Cape ground squirrel is somewhat misleading as it actually has a much wider area of habitation. This common name may have been arrived at to distinguish it from the tree squirrel found around Cape Town and which was imported from Europe by Cecil John Rhodes.

Cape ground squirrels live mainly in arid or semiarid areas. They prefer to live in veld and grasslands with hard ground. Ground squirrels are generally active during the day and do not hibernate. They are burrowing animals that dig and live in clusters of burrows which serve to protect the squirrel from extreme temperatures at the surface as well as predators. Nevertheless, most of the day is spent feeding at the surface.  They eat bulbs, fruits, grasses, herbs, insects and shrubs.

Source – Wikipedia

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