From North to South California, the West Cost is experiencing major heat waves - and both people and animals are really feeling it. The San Francisco Bay area is currently experiencing record-breaking highs, and the squirrels are finding it too hot to handle. So in response, the furry creatures have begun "splooting" - and it's left people in San Francisco stunned…
With temperatures reaching above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, people and animals are resorting to all sorts of extremes to deal with the heat. People are staying inside, cranking up the A.C., and immersing themselves in pools, but Bay areas squirrels are simply "splooting." The heatwave is causing the animals to stretch out on the ground in order to release their body heat into the environment. However, this action has people freaking out, causing many calls to the wildlife facilities stating the motionless squirrels are spread out flat. Officials have advised local residents to leave the animals as is, seeing as though they do bite. But if possible, to leave a bowl of water for them to get through the heatwave.
California residents immediately assumed the squirrels were hurt or sick at first glance before they learned about the term splooting. The act of releasing body heat occurs not just in squirrels but has also been seen in dogs, rabbits, and cats. The fur layer helps the animals trap their body heat, and splooting helps release the hot temperatures. With other U.S. states experiencing heatwaves this summer, such as New York and Colorado, splooting has been reported and noted. Temperatures in New York City reached 95 Fahrenheit when squirrels were reported splooting, and the NYC Parks alerted residents not to worry; the squirrels were fine. However, in all these states, authorities have made it clear to leave the squirrels alone.
Despite the suggestion to leave the animals alone, if the squirrels look hurt or appear young, it is advised to call wildlife officials. According to the WildCare in San Rafael, the facility has seen a spike of "young squirrels coming in with heat stroke" and "calls about hot deer, and about birds literally falling on their sides, panting with the heat." On the contrary, squirrels will sploot in the colder months as well - so keep your eyes peeled for these splooting creatures!