Familiar within the home, these pets appeared exotic and out of place when they escaped into the urban environment. In 1856 the New-York Daily Times reported that the appearance of an “unusual visitor” in a tree in the park near city hall had attracted a crowd of hundreds; until they were scattered by a policeman, the onlookers cheered the efforts to recapture the pet squirrel.

The Urbanization of the Eastern Gray Squirrel in the United States from The Journal of American History.
Image credit: An Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) near the Washington National Cathedral located in Washington, by Joey Gannon. Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons.

Familiar within the home, these pets appeared exotic and out of place when they escaped into the urban environment. In 1856 the New-York Daily Times reported that the appearance of an “unusual visitor” in a tree in the park near city hall had attracted a crowd of hundreds; until they were scattered by a policeman, the onlookers cheered the efforts to recapture the pet squirrel.

The Urbanization of the Eastern Gray Squirrel in the United States from The Journal of American History.

Image credit: An Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) near the Washington National Cathedral located in Washington, by Joey Gannon. Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons.