Wild squirrel shakes hands with man in stunning picture

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This is the incredible moment a squirrel apparently shakes hands with a walker – after he coaxed it to take a hazelnut from his hand.

Bushcraft expert Steve England, 35, waited motionless for 15 minutes in Stoke Park, Bristol, as the grey squirrel slowly moved towards him.

He then lay perfectly still as the animal gathered enough courage to reach out and pluck the hazelnut from his forefinger and thumb.

Father-of-three Steve, who works as a RHS horticulturalist and lives in Lockleaze, Bristol, was stunned because wild squirrels are usually highly secretive animals.

He said: ”I had never tried it before but we were going through the woods and I was laid down on a log taking pictures of some fungus when this squirrel came up close.

”So I managed to get a hazelnut out of my pocket and after about 15 minutes it came closer and closer and then grabbed the hazelnut and ran.

”Squirrels are very secretive animals so I wasn’t surprised that it disappeared in a few seconds after taking the nut.  To start with it couldn’t decide if I was a friend or a foe.

”The goal of my life is to encourage more people to enjoy the treasures of the outdoors and Stoke Park really is an incredible place.”

The picture was taken by NHS community health worker Alex Wood, 26, who was among six people on the organised Active Bristol green walk on Sunday.

She said: ”We were on the walk and Steve was taking pictures of some fungus when he spotted a wild squirrel and said ‘watch this’.

”The squirrel took a lot of time to build up enough courage to snatch the nut.  It was an incredible moment.”

76 COMMENTS

  1. ….obviously in his line of work he has never visited Kew Gardens then…you don't have to wait motionless there for 15 minutes, as soon as I produced nuts, they came straight to me. This is nothing really new…

  2. ….obviously in his line of work he has never visited Kew Gardens then…you don't have to wait motionless there for 15 minutes, as soon as I produced nuts, they came straight to me. This is nothing really new…

  3. We used to do this all the time with the red squirrels at Formby national trust reserve in Liverpool. I agree with Ian, its nothing new. Good photo though!

  4. We used to do this all the time with the red squirrels at Formby national trust reserve in Liverpool. I agree with Ian, its nothing new. Good photo though!

  5. A similar thing happened to me on Monday. I was in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh and there was a squirrel running about. I went as close as I could, kneeled down and it came closer the more it trusted me. When it came to point it was right in front of me I stood up because I didn't understand why it was being so friendly.It then ran away. I got some really good pictures of it.

  6. A similar thing happened to me on Monday. I was in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh and there was a squirrel running about. I went as close as I could, kneeled down and it came closer the more it trusted me. When it came to point it was right in front of me I stood up because I didn't understand why it was being so friendly.It then ran away. I got some really good pictures of it.

  7. In my local park there's a sqirrell I call Tufty because it's so friendly. Comes up and takes nuts or will put paws on my hand until I give it something.

  8. In my local park there's a squirrel I call Tufty because it's so friendly. Comes up and takes nuts or will put paws on my hand until I give it something.

  9. In my local park there's a sqirrell I call Tufty because it's so friendly. Comes up and takes nuts or will put paws on my hand until I give it something.

  10. In my local park there's a squirrel I call Tufty because it's so friendly. Comes up and takes nuts or will put paws on my hand until I give it something.

  11. just go to st. james's park in London and the squirrels appear very tame. I had one climb my leg and another take a nut out of the palm of my hand. I also had a blue tit land on my hand to take a nut! I think it's great he's got such a fab job.

  12. just go to st. james's park in London and the squirrels appear very tame. I had one climb my leg and another take a nut out of the palm of my hand. I also had a blue tit land on my hand to take a nut! I think it's great he's got such a fab job.

  13. Conveniently had a hazlenut in pocket… picture taken by NHS community health worker… come on… the clues are in there guys.

  14. Conveniently had a hazlenut in pocket… picture taken by NHS community health worker… come on… the clues are in there guys.

  15. Agreed, I visted the botanic gardens in Edinburgh when I was younger and all the squirrels ate out of your hand! Good piccie though.

  16. Agreed, I visted the botanic gardens in Edinburgh when I was younger and all the squirrels ate out of your hand! Good piccie though.

  17. It's a great photo but I actually have a few like this myself taken with me or friends. I have fed many squirrels in parks which you may say are not fully wild as they are used to public but I have also had success with squirrels in local woods. As long as you have food!

  18. It's a great photo but I actually have a few like this myself taken with me or friends. I have fed many squirrels in parks which you may say are not fully wild as they are used to public but I have also had success with squirrels in local woods. As long as you have food!

  19. In Dunfermline Glen We have wild peacocks that eat from your hand and squirrels that will come right up to you and take peanuts from you even the baby ones will come up and you have to take the shell off for them cos they arent sure what to do. I love the park where I live it's so great, and the creatures so cute.

  20. In Dunfermline Glen We have wild peacocks that eat from your hand and squirrels that will come right up to you and take peanuts from you even the baby ones will come up and you have to take the shell off for them cos they arent sure what to do. I love the park where I live it's so great, and the creatures so cute.

  21. It's nice to see that even in a heartwarming story, focusing on something other than murders, rape and teenage deaths, the Internet can still go "Yeeeaahhh I do this all the time nothing new"

    Lovely.

  22. It's nice to see that even in a heartwarming story, focusing on something other than murders, rape and teenage deaths, the Internet can still go "Yeeeaahhh I do this all the time nothing new"

    Lovely.

  23. love this pic but like most ppl have said its nothing new. at my brothers house theres a couple of grey squirrels that actually come n knock on the window n wait for you to give them some nuts n then they gladly take it out of your hands 🙂 like i said love the pic tho 🙂

  24. love this pic but like most ppl have said its nothing new. at my brothers house theres a couple of grey squirrels that actually come n knock on the window n wait for you to give them some nuts n then they gladly take it out of your hands 🙂 like i said love the pic tho 🙂

  25. Oh yes now all of you sad losers have had these experiences. SHAME ON YOUS ALL!!! Taking some1 else's experiences and then completely making up your own silly stories. SHAMELESS! And SICKENING too!!!

  26. Oh yes now all of you sad losers have had these experiences. SHAME ON YOUS ALL!!! Taking some1 else's experiences and then completely making up your own silly stories. SHAMELESS! And SICKENING too!!!

  27. Keith, your a complete idiot, I hate violence but if there is any shooting to be done then you should go and shoot yourself and do us all a favour. The world would be a better place without the likes of you.

  28. Keith, your a complete idiot, I hate violence but if there is any shooting to be done then you should go and shoot yourself and do us all a favour. The world would be a better place without the likes of you.

  29. this really isn't that special, l lived on furzey island for a few years and red squirrels, ducks, pheasants and birds gathered round the cottage to be fed every day. all the animals would let you hand feed them and birds (tits and robins) would sit on you hand to feed. squirrels would come in the cottage and sit on the table to feed, and most days would sit on me in the outbuildings when l had food in my pocket. this was an amazing experience that all the wildlife on the island was not afraid of humans. there are so many stories l could tell you regarding this. hope you found this interesting.

  30. I have a picture taken in Blackheath about 20 odd years ago wit h a squirrel holding onto my hand as it ate a hazelnut,.

  31. I have a picture taken in Blackheath about 20 odd years ago wit h a squirrel holding onto my hand as it ate a hazelnut,.

  32. I used o live in Birmingham a long time ago, 2 miles from the city centre in a GF flat. I used to have 2 squirrels come everyday to my patio doors to have a chocolate digestive, which I hasten to add they love. They would come the same time everyday and wait till I opened the door then they would happily come over and take the biscuits from my hands. Also in York in the park in the centre of York I have a picture that shows me hand feeding a wild squirrel . They are like any other animal hunger wins over fear I think.

  33. I used o live in Birmingham a long time ago, 2 miles from the city centre in a GF flat. I used to have 2 squirrels come everyday to my patio doors to have a chocolate digestive, which I hasten to add they love. They would come the same time everyday and wait till I opened the door then they would happily come over and take the biscuits from my hands. Also in York in the park in the centre of York I have a picture that shows me hand feeding a wild squirrel . They are like any other animal hunger wins over fear I think.

  34. I had a simular experience with a squirrel ,a fellow golfer said to me, go on give it the nut out of your hand so I did, big mistake

    it grabbed my hand and the nut, my mate laught his head off .

    beware! big scratches can appear.

  35. I had a simular experience with a squirrel ,a fellow golfer said to me, go on give it the nut out of your hand so I did, big mistake

    it grabbed my hand and the nut, my mate laught his head off .

    beware! big scratches can appear.

  36. I've had a squirrel run up my leg too. When I shook it off it chased me down the street. Don't play with squirrels.

  37. I've had a squirrel run up my leg too. When I shook it off it chased me down the street. Don't play with squirrels.

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