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Baikonur Squirrel Rockets to Internet Fame


A yellow ground squirrel at the Baikonur cosmodrome shyly approaches a camera pointed at the hole where he lives.

A video from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome has captured what could be the furriest resident of the station — a none-too camera-shy ground squirrel who has built his home in the shadow of the massive rocket-launch site.

In the video set to playful orchestral music, the critter is seen suspiciously eyeing a surveillance camera, eventually approaching and even attempting to gnaw on the lens, revealing a mouth with four long teeth.

Heavy equipment and a towering Proton-M rocket are seen behind the oblivious rodent, who seems more interested in the camera.

At one point in the video, a large platform rumbles over the ground squirrel's small hole, prompting him to dash inside, though he immediately emerges again as workers hustle in the background.

There is no mention of the critter on the website of TsENKI, the state enterprise in charge of ground operations whose cameras shot the video, though the website does say the area is inhabited by six species of rodents, including the daring ground squirrel.

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