‘You do need to have patience’ (Picture: @youngmasterchu/Caters News Age)
Young Chu, 35, first started paying attention to squirrels during lockdown in Toronto, Canada.
The videographer thought the little critters were adorable and noticed that they came to her garden almost every day. She even gave them names.
Young said: ‘I have named the grey squirrels Elton Squirrel, Greyson, Butters, and PanPan because she lies down like a pancake.
‘There’s also a black squirrel named Kami and Lil Max is the red squirrel.’
After a few months of observing them, Young started filming them with little props designed to make it looks like the squirrels are at work.
She said: ‘I decided to create a scene where Lil Max seems to be running for mayor. I was watching a reality show and they went to a small town in Alaska where the mayor is a cat.
‘So, I thought it would be funny to have him do that too because I had previously written in my captions that he is the CEO of his own corporation, so running for mayor aligns with his character nicely.
‘I like that this storyline gives me a reason to write satirical content and make funny things like mock political ads.
‘It’s fun to see them interact with different props and see how they would react to new items. Sometimes they are cautious and don’t touch them right away.’
After having watched the squirrels for months, Young had figured out roughly where their favourite garden spots were.
Ice cream anyone? (Picture: @youngmasterchu/ Caters News Age)
‘I thought it would be funny’ (Picture: @youngmasterchu/ Caters News Age)
She said that the squirrels are creatures of habit, and will go back to areas they like at certain times of day.
‘I can place the cameras in their favourite spots and eventually, they will show up,’ she added.
‘You do need to have patience as I don’t touch the squirrels. They are cautious of people and feel more comfortable when no one is around.
‘I place the cameras in their favourite spots and leave them on record for about half an hour at a time and allow the squirrels to walk into frame naturally.
‘Currently, my favourite scene is the grey squirrel Elton Squirrel playing the mini-piano. That’s one of my most popular posts so far. I have designed cute notebooks and merchandise with this photo.
Places to be (Picture: @youngmasterchu/ Caters News Age)
‘It’s been a fun and creatively fulfilling experience’ (Picture: @youngmasterchu/ Caters News Age)
‘It took several days before any of the squirrels put their hands on the mini-piano the “right” way. Other than this moment, they were usually standing on the top, side or back of the piano.
‘I was very excited when Elton Squirrel finally stood on the right end of the piano and put his paws up near the keys.
‘It’s been a fun and creatively fulfilling experience. I’ve also been learning a lot because I didn’t know much about squirrels before I started observing them during the lockdowns. In the beginning, I thought the red squirrel was a chipmunk.
‘The reaction to my photos has been very positive. People think that the photos and videos are very cute and funny.
‘They had never paid much attention to squirrels before, even though they are everywhere in our country.’
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‘You do need to have patience.’