Playful Squirrel With Toy Delights the Internet

Adorable footage of a squirrel playing in a backyard has delighted the internet after going viral on Reddit.

Shared on Thursday by Reddit user allmyquatloos, the video has received more than 14,000 upvotes on the popular Reddit forum r/MadeMeSmile.

Posted with the caption: “Squirrel in my backyard interrupted a bank meeting today,” the video shows a squirrel playing with a bouncy ball in the garden—jumping around and rolling the ball back and forth—all while the online video meeting continues in the background.

A familiar sight in urban areas across the U.S., in 2013, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania looked at the history of the urban squirrel in the United States. Research traced the first introduction of squirrels in American cities to Philadelphia’s Franklin Square in 1847, with other introductions taking place in Boston and New Haven around 1950.

By the 1860s though, many city squirrel populations had died out or been killed amid concern that they would disturb birds and lead to problems with insects. But in the 1870s, squirrels were once again released in urban areas—this time on a wider scale as large parks were built in New York City, Washington, Chicago, and other cities.

Alongside the intended effect of creating interest and adding nature to cityscapes around the U.S., researcher Etienne Benson also reported positive impacts on humans. He said: “Feeding squirrels becomes adopted as a way of encouraging humane behavior,” noting that he found several sources from children’s literature that indicated feeding squirrels was a great way to teach kindness in children.

This squirrel’s adorable playtime has delighted viewers on Reddit. One commenter said: “That ball made his day, and he made ours.”

Squirrel in tree with walnut
A file photo of a squirrel in a tree with a walnut in its mouth. A squirrel interrupting a meeting while playing in the yard has delighted the internet.
Gerd Harder/Getty Images

“That’s brilliant, making meetings bearable,” wrote another Redditor. While another inspired viewer said: “I’m gonna leave a ball out for my squirrels now. This little guy just having so much fun.”

Other viewers commented on the sweet behavior of the animal. One viewer wrote: “I would not have thought squirrels would play like that.”

In fact, play behavior in squirrels has been documented for some time. In 1976, Mary Melville at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee published an analysis of common play patterns in young squirrels. The study noted behaviors including mounting, wrestling, chasing, and sparring—all of which were observed in both juvenile squirrels and their adult counterparts.

Another viewer of the animal’s antics commented that the adorable squirrel was “living his best life,” while another commenter joked: “Well he is having a ball.”

“That is amazing and adorable,” said another Reddit user: “I’ve never seen a squirrel play like that! So cool you caught that.”

Newsweek has reached out to allmyquatloos for comment.


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