Sneezy the Penn State Squirrel has gained a loyal fan base online that has some thinking that the Nittany Lion has been replaced by a squirrel. The squirrel owes thanks to one Penn State student who befriended the furry creature.
Student Mary Krupa could have picked any number of squirrels to befriend since there are so many in the area, but the one she nicknamed “Sneezy” is special.
Sneezy allows Krupa to dress her up and take pictures of her in various settings. Krupa uses doll-sized props and even hats to get the special Penn State squirrel ready for photo shoots.
According to the Associated Press, Krupa, nicknamed “The Squirrel Whisperer,” uploads the photos to a Facebook page titled “Sneezy the Penn State Squirrel.” The page is dedicated to sharing her adventures with Sneezy.
According to WJAC, Krupa and Sneezy are not just popular around Penn State; they are an internet sensation. One magazine as far away as Germany has taken an interest in Krupa and Sneezy, but the magazine mistakenly believed that Sneezy was the Penn State mascot, instead of the Nittany Lion.
“They got a little confused. They think Sneezy is the school’s mascot,” Krupa told WJAC.
In fact, Sneezy’s page has more Facebook “likes” than a Facebook page dedicated Penn State’s Nittany Lion currently boasts.
Sneezy has found so much success that an online store has been opened where fans can purchase clothing and other items related to Sneezy’s image.
So how is this Penn State student able to befriend and even dress up a squirrel with the squirrel’s cooperation?
“As long as she has food she is completely relaxed and really comfortable with people,” the Penn State junior admitted.
Krupa knows that befriending and playing with squirrels isn’t typical behavior for most college students. Her parents were a bit concerned that having such a relationship with squirrels could be an open invitation for bullying.
“My parents were worried you might [be] bullied for making friends with the squirrels. That isn’t something a normal person does but people seem to really love originality and creativity,” the squirrel whisperer said.
She added that Sneezy is “just the sweetest, laid back squirrel ever”, but she wants people to remember that Sneezy is still a wild animal, even if it doesn’t seem that way.
Sneezy is free to roam the Penn State campus and does just that after she has had her fill of food from Krupa in exchange for cute photos to post to Facebook.
[Images via Facebook]