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I’m ready for my close-up! Inquisitive red squirrel investigates photographer’s camera


Say nuts: This red squirrel stares straight at the camera after it is snapped by photographer Alan Wennington at a car park in Ponteland, Northumberland

Looking bright-eyed and bushy tailed this inquisitive little squirrel pulls off the perfect 'startled' look for a lucky photographer.
With its ears poking upwards and mouth wide open the furry forest dweller appears to be captivated by the camera as it perches on a log in Ponteland, Northumberland.
The striking image was taken by photographer Alan Wennington who has developed a close affinity with the animals during a series of close encounters.

Furry focus: This cheeky red squirrel developed a keen interest in Mr Wennington's camera equipment as it stared at its reflection in the display

However, on his latest meeting with the red squirrels Mr Wennington had a nervous few minutes when one of the beautifully-coloured creatures decided to take a closer look at his kit worth more than £1,000.
The incident happened after the photorapher had placed his gear on a tree stump in a carpark.
The young squirrel then crept up and peered at its reflection in the camera’s LCD screen before gripping the lens and biting the strap.

Mr Wennington watched on nervously as the squirrel nibbled at his camera gear worth more than £1,000

Mr Wennington feared his equipment would be damaged as he sat in his car a few yards away taking photographs with another camera.
But he reluctantly stayed put because he did not want to scare the squirrel, which regularly approaches visitors for food.
He said this red squirrel, which was born last spring, was following in the paw steps of its parent who had adopted the dramatic 'startled' pose for Mr Wennington on a previous visit.

Mr Wennington said he had developed a close relationship with the squirrels over the course of several visits and decided to let nature take its course with his kit, fortunately it was not damaged

He added: 'There were at least three youngsters born this year and they are not nervous at all.
'They know they get fed by visitors and know its feeding time when they see a car parked in the immediate vicinity.
'However, they aren’t keen on sharing food with each other and if more than one of them visits at the same time it usually ends up in a playful chase.'

source: dailymail