Spotlight Thursday – Meerkat Manor (or Round-Tailed Sround Squirrel Manor) of Arizona

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round-tailed ground squirrel
Every Thursday, I will be posting a photo from my travels and a spotlight on the location. Today’s Spotlight Thursday is of the .  I took this photo is of a pair of round-tailed ground squirrel from my cross-country US road trips.  On my way from Tennessee to Colorado, I stopped and spent a couple of days in Saguaro National Park.  This park is around Tuscon, Arizona.  The park has two regions split by the city of Tuscon.  I spent time in both the Rincon Mountain District (Saguaro Park East) and Tucson Mountain District (Saguaro Park West).

I spent more of my time in the Tuscon Mountain District since more of the hiking trails were open.  Many of the Rincon Trails were closed for maintenance.  I had finished my morning 3-mile hike.  I was sitting on a picnic table eating lunch when I see some movement out of the corner of my eye. On first glance, I don’t see anything.  When I look closer, I see a small rodent like creature.  I keep looking and suddenly I find about 10 more spread out around me.  These cute little rodents are round-tailed ground squirrel.  They are squirrels that dig burrows and live in family groups. I’m quite intrigued as the only time I seen a squirrel up close was when one got into my attic when I was younger and it ended in an exterminator coming to do the squirrel removal process.

As I watch the ground squirrels interact, I was reminded of the Animal Planet show Meerkat Manor which followed a family of Meerkats around.  The family was clearing hanging out around on of the nursing dens since they had some babies that would pop out of the tunnels once and a while.  One of the squirrels was always standing up keeping an eye out for predators and on me.

Enjoy this photo of the round-tailed ground squirrel in Saguaro National Park?  Check me out on Instagram @MatDifference for more great photos.

Check out my other photos from Spotlight Thursday

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