Where is it now? UC Berkeley’s tailless squirrel

A squirrel in the grass with a Kiwibot and the Campanile in the background
Susan Lin/Staff

When I first came to UC Berkeley, I noticed that near Hearst Mining Circle and Evans Hall, there was a frequent visitor. Now, it is clear that UC Berkeley is partially run by the squirrels, but this particular squirrel has caught the attention of many people over the past few years. I affectionately refer to the tailless squirrel as “Nubs,” but of course, everyone refers to it differently. Some say that if you spot this mystical creature, it’s good luck. This squirrel has lived through many of the same experiences that we Bears have, so here is an update on how our beloved furry friend is doing.

The squirrel without a tail originally came in undeclared. It is currently a senior and has decided to pursue statistics upon gazing up at Evans from the bottom.

“Such majesty,” it thought. The days have been long and hard for the tailless squirrel. Food doesn’t come by as easily as it used to now that students are realizing other fellow squirrels are willing to go the extra mile and physically climb into people’s backpacks. The tailless squirrel has contemplated this many times, but not for food.

You see, without its tail, the tailless squirrel has to compensate for its lack of balance, which of course affects its ability to travel by paw. Its way of accomplishing this is by taking alternative routes of transportation, such as the Loop and even perching atop KiwiBots. Now the tailless squirrel can get to the big belly trash cans near GBC without spending the entire afternoon scampering there.

The tailless squirrel has taken up hobbies that can be described as more “down to earth,” both literally and figuratively. Such endeavors include people-watching and treasure-hunting. The campus is shared with thousands of other students, so the tailless squirrel is bound to find some gems outside of the usual lost homework assignments and broken mechanical pencils. Once, the tailless squirrel found a ticket to an upcoming Rex Orange County concert. Naturally, it used it to create a makeshift umbrella to protect it from the rain during the springtime. The tailless squirrel has listened to its fair share of music from Sproul flyering and a cappella. 

The year is almost ending, and so is the tailless squirrel’s time as an undergrad. To prepare for potentially attending grad school, the tailless squirrel occasionally drops in on conversations between grad students along the outer perimeter of Evans. It imagines that it may be very fun to go down the steep hill on Northside while sitting on top of one of the graduate students’ bikes. The tailless squirrel has also tried reading books that students are perusing around Memorial Glade. Of course, the nice students sometimes assume the squirrel is there to grab a snack, but little do the students know that it would take the food and scamper away just far enough to make out the words of the textbook the students were studying from.

The tailless squirrel has recently noticed it has become somewhat of a celebrity among the students, and it is pleased to see the joy that it brings them. The tailless squirrel is more than a living Berkeley legend; it serves as a symbol of resilience and willpower among the entire student body.

One thing is for sure: The tailless squirrel has no planned end to its adventures among the hustle and bustle of daily life at UC Berkeley. So, whenever you get a glimpse of the tailless squirrel in action, consider sending it good luck in exchange for brightening your day.

Contact Malvika Singhal at [email protected] .