The Indian Palm Squirrel is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family that can be easily domesticated and kept as pets. It is found naturally in India. In the late 19th century, the Palm Squirrel was accidentally introduced into Western Australia where it has since become a minor pest.
The squirrels eat mainly nuts and fruits. They are opportunists in urban areas, and can be easily domesticated and trained to accept food from humans. Naturally active, their activity reaches levels of frenzy during the mating season. They tend to be very protective over their food sources, often guarding and defending them from birds and other squirrels.
The stripes on the Palm Squirrel’s back are described in a Hindu legend. The bridge at Rameswaram was being constructed by Lord Rama and the Vanara Sena, and the squirrel played its part by rolling in beach sand then running to the bridge to shake the sand from its back, all the time chanting Lord Rama’s name.
Lord Rama was pleased by the creature’s dedication and, in stroking the squirrel’s back, the mark of Rama’s fingers was left on the squirrel ever since. This association with Lord Rama explains why squirrels are considered sacred in India.