Behind Squirrels of UT Tyler, the beloved squirrel fan account

Patricia Garcia • Managing & Newsletter Editor



Walking around the UT Tyler campus from class to class, you’ve probably encountered squirrels running around in the grass, by trash cans, climbing trees or doing something crazy.


For most here on campus, they provide a sort of brief solace in the midst of constant homework, jobs, and overwhelming college responsibilities. However, we’re not always outside to encounter the beloved furry creatures. That’s when @squirrelsofuttyler comes in.


With over 1,400 followers on Instagram, “Squirrels of UT Tyler” is an account dedicated to squirrels around campus. Wishing to remain anonymous to maintain and protect the casual nature of the account, we spoke to the creator to learn more about the history and purpose of the beloved insta.

How did you get the idea to start your Instagram account?


Well, I was inspired by Squirrels of UT Austin. When I was going through my list of schools and stuff, I was just researching them, and UT Austin was one of them. I found out they had that, and I was like, “Oh that’s cool!” Then when I came to UT Tyler, I saw that they didn’t have an account for the squirrels, and I was seeing all the squirrels around and I started taking photos and my first one was of Sebastian in front of the University Center. I was walking with my friend and I said, “Oh look, it’s Sebastian!” and I just took a photo and then like a month later I posted it. I just started following people and got them to follow me back and then it just took off from there.


Sebastian, the aforementioned squirrel that started it all. Photo courtesy of the creator of Squirrels of UT Tyler.
Sebastian, the aforementioned squirrel that started it all. Photo courtesy of the creator of Squirrels of UT Tyler.

Did you ever think that it was going to grow and become what it is now?


I thought it was going to cap at like probably 300 people, but it just keeps growing and growing.

How does the process of running the account work?

When I first started it was mostly my photos and then some submissions. Now it’s almost run basically on submissions, so people will message me, “Oh I found this squirrel blah blah blah” and I go, “Thank you for your submission, where did you find them, and what would you want to name them?” Sometimes if I recognize the squirrel, I just don’t ask them what they want to name them, because there’s this black squirrel and their name is Rufus. Like, I can recognize Rufus and Sebastian. Other than that, I kind of just ask them what they want to name them, because there are so many squirrels, I can’t really keep track of them all. I have a submission list I keep on my Notes App and then I just post the submissions in the order I receive them. Like right now I have 19 submissions. I get at least one a day.

Is it hard to handle?


I think at the moment it’s become hard to handle since I’ve started to receive so many submissions. Especially since we all got back from school, people are sending a lot so I started posting every single day so I wouldn’t have a back load of submissions, so people wouldn’t have to wait as long.

Gerald, a squirrel roaming the grounds by the business building. Photo courtesy of Ashley Lopez.
Gerald, a squirrel roaming the grounds by the business building. Photo courtesy of Ashley Lopez.

How long have you been doing this for?


It’s been over a year. Oct. 6 was my first post, but I think I took the first photo in early September. It’s been a cool year.

Has it been fun to do?


Yeah! Sometimes people will message me, and we become little buddies. I’m friends with the girl who runs the mushrooms UT Tyler, like we’re buddies. (Make sure to follow them on Instagram: uttyler_mushrooms).

UT Tyler doesn’t follow you?


Yeah, that’s what I wanted to add…UT Tyler needs to follow me. I have been BEGGING in their DM’s. I message them at least once a week, like yesterday I messaged them. They’re kind of like my diary. Like yesterday I messaged them, “Hey baby, how are you?” I sent them some photos of shoes. I was like, “Just ordered these, so cute right?” They just ignore me.

Didn’t they follow you on April Fool’s Day?


Yeah, they did follow me. I feel like because I posted it on my story, they unfollowed me. I think they were just waiting for that. I even highlighted it on my stories as like “Worst Day” and it has a sad face. It was just a bad day for me. They probably followed me for 15 minutes. One day hopefully. The fateful saga pictured below.




Make sure to go follow Squirrels of UT Tyler for your daily dosage of squirrels and experience the day that UT Tyler gives them that awaited follow!


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