‘Splooting’ is all the rage this heatwave season. Squirrels are leading the trend; this controversial way of lying down is leading to animal control hotlines ringing off the hook. But just with planking, there is an air of concern surrounding splooting. Are these squirrels okay? Why are they splooting? Is there something we should be doing to help them?
Find out all these questions and more below…
What is splooting and why are squirrels doing it? ??️
“If you looked out your front window and saw a squirrel stretched out spread-eagle and motionless on your lawn, you’d likely think it met some untimely end. Really, though, it’s probably just splooting.”
Alison Hermance of WildCare in San Rafael said that amid sweltering temperatures, the wildlife hospital’s hotline has “been receiving lots of calls about hot animals, including concerns about squirrels spread out flat.” – Mercury News
Splooting is a reaction to extreme heat. ?️
“If you’ve got a fur coat and you’re stuck in 107-degree weather, you don’t have a lot of options to cool down. For squirrels and other furry mammals, splooting is one of them.” – The Daily Beast
To sploot, squirrels stretch themselves out on the ground and remain completely motionless. Their goal is to get as much of their surface area in contact with the ground as possible. This helps to dump heat from their bodies into the environment, cooling them down. Splooting is also sometimes called “heat dumping.”
“It turns out that splooting is a normal and natural behavior. Squirrels do it, and so do creatures like bears and even dogs.” Normally, mammals can sweat or pant to cool off but if they’re dehydrated they can’t do that.
“Think about a time you’ve stretched out on the tile floor of your bathroom on a hot day, or put your hand on a chilly marble cutting board. Splooting squirrels are doing the same thing, but with their entire tiny bodies.”– Yahoo! News
What to do if you see an animal splooting
When Jennifer Modenessi of the Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek first saw a squirrel smashing its body into the pavement in front of the museum’s facility, she says, “I didn’t know splooting was a thing, and I thought something was wrong with it.” – SFGate
Q: “What should you do if you see a splooting squirrel?” ?️
A: In most cases, nothing. ?️
Authorities say splooting is fine for these little guys, and there’s no need to do anything other than let them work their adorable thermoregulatory magic. (And perhaps make a TikTok.)” – SFGate
More Peculier Squirrel Content ?️ –
Not-so-Cute: Baby Squirrels are Falling out of Trees in Extreme Heat
“They’re literally jumping from their nests to escape the heat,” said Buffy Martin Tarbox of the Peninsula Humane Society.
Calling it a “squirrel-palooza,” Bay Area wildlife rescue groups report a surge of distressed animals and are mobilizing teams to rescue the rodents with ice packs, fluids, medications and special diets.
“Every species is just doing its thing, and then you get [a heat wave] like this,” he said. “Some will be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” – The Mercury News
Squirrels getting a little too close for comfort? Environmental conditions are pushing wildlife further toward human dwellings. ?️
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