You read that right: within this article, there are no less than three recent videos documenting squirrels eating pizza in a tree. And we’re just scratching the surface.
Just when you thought our pandemic-laden reality couldn’t get any weirder – this article happens. Squirrels have had enough of 2020-2021, too, and they’re seeking out one of life’s truest pleasures to cope: pizza.
In truth, it’s an odd mash of circumstances that have led us to this perplexing point in time. Think of how many factors have been at play for us to be discussing a species of rodent eating a form of Italian pie in North American trees.
Regardless, this is reality now. And for Allison and Matt Robicelli – it happened right in their own Baltimore backyard. Fittingly, since this report cannot get any more specific or weird, Allison is a food writer for The Takeout.
“This miracle was captured on video by my husband, Matt Robicelli, who chose to spend over ten minutes watching this squirrel tear into a slice of pizza from our stoop while I remained asleep upstairs,” Allison writes in her trade.
All is not lost, however. When one has such a sense for the finer things in life as Allison does, you make lemonade from lemons. Or journalism from pizza squirrels.
“Since I am a serious food journalist, I was able to convince Matt to grant me an exclusive interview about his unforgettable encounter with Pizza Squirrel,” she reveals. Please, Allison, allow this serious outdoors journalist to quote such a fabulous interview. But first, the matter at hand:
Baltimore Journalist Captures Latest Pizza Incident
“I was taking the trash out and I heard this odd crunching noise coming from the tree out front. I looked up and saw a squirrel shimmying backwards up onto a branch with a slice of pizza in his mouth,” Matt begins of his video footage above. “We made eye contact and he freaked out a little bit, so he got on his back legs, grabbed the bottom of the slice with his paws, and started hopping from branch to branch. When he got to the one next to the fake owl [the landlord] put up to scare squirrels away, he stopped and looked at me again, and we kinda came to an understanding.”
“An understanding?” Allison asks her husband.
“Yeah, like, “I’m cool, you’re cool, I’m not going to steal your pizza, so it’s all good.” Then he started eating, and I started filming him. He didn’t mind,” Matt adds. And the rest is now documented history.
It’s not just the Robicellis in Baltimore witnessing this phenomenon, either. In fact, the hashtag #pizzasquirrel has become abundant on several social media platforms in order to keep track of the sightings. This brings us to Molly Jong-Fast’s video tweet.
Jong-Fat shares a video from Fur Babies which, you guessed it, also shows a squirrel eating pizza in a tree. This isn’t something we dug up from ten years ago to make this appear as a phenomenon, either. The footage is from January 2 of this year. While the Twitter user seems to be of the opinion that New York’s infamous “Pizza rat> pizza squirrel,” we’re clearly team pizza squirrel:
But Seriously: Why are Squirrels Eating Pizza in Trees?
Firstly, it’s important to note that – until a scientific study is conducted specifically on the combination of squirrels, pizza, and trees, there is no definitive answer to this question. As a wildlife technician and behavioral husbandrist, however, I do hope I can at least shed a little light on this world-altering phenom.
Right off the bat, we’ve got to acknowledge how remarkably some rodent species have adapted to urbanization. Rats and squirrels in particular have taken to thriving within cities and suburbs, where human food and/or food waste is plentiful.
Squirrels, like rats, are omnivorous: meaning they’ll eat just about anything on both sides of the herbivore/carnivore equation. We know they love nuts and seeds and plant-based foods, right? Omnivorous squirrel species will also eat insects, eggs, and/or other small animals, too.
In addition, squirrels are opportunistic feeders. Put an omnivore’s dream like pizza anywhere a squirrel can get to it, and they’re going to get to it.
Combine the sheer numbers of squirrels (millions upon millions of gray squirrels alone in the U.S.) with the sheer amount of pizza the U.S. consumes (millions upon millions of pounds a year) – and you have a recipe for squirrels eating pizza pretty much on the regular.
Oh, and they’re eating it in trees because trees are where squirrels stay safe from predators. That’s an easy one.
Now please, enjoy this last chubby, happy squirrel eating pizza in a tree:
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