The Animal Talent

The Animal Talent

The Animal Talent

Animal notes + -

The squirrel family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels (including chipmunks among others) and flying squirrels.


The red and grey squirrels commonly seen in the UK are in the tree squirrels category.  Red squirrels are native, whereas the grey squirrel is actually an invasive species from the USA and has decimated our native populations.  That being said, we think they’re both as cute as each other and their facial expressions and mannerisms are truly adorable.


Squirrels typically have slender bodies with very long very bushy tails and large eyes. In general their fur is soft and silky, though much thicker in some species than others. The coat colour of squirrels is highly variable between – and often even within – species.


In most squirrel species the hind limbs are longer than the fore limbs, while all species have either four or five toes on each foot. As their large eyes indicate, squirrels have an excellent sense of vision which is especially important for the tree-dwelling species. Many also have a good sense of touch, with vibrissae on their limbs as well as their heads.


Even their tails are multi-talented!  The benefits of squirrel tails include:

  • Shelter from rain, wind and cold
  • Cooling off when hot, by pumping more blood through its tail
  • Counterbalance when jumping about in trees
  • Acting as a parachute when jumping
  • Signals (body language.

A group of squirrels is called a “dray” or a “scurry”


Squirrels are generally small animals, ranging in sizes.  For example, the African pygmy squirrel and least pygmy squirrel measure 10–14cm in total length and just 12–26g in weight.  Conversely the Bhutan giant flying squirrel measures up to 1.27m in total length and several marmot species can weigh 8kg or more.


Carling Black Label, Lynx and Graze have all famously used this adorable animal in TV commercial advertising campaigns.  Squirrels are the demons, tricksters and phantoms of the literary canon, from Nabokov to Nietzsche to Nutkin.  Creatives have seen the trickery  and skilfulness of the squirrel as an opportunity to align brands with for decades and that shows no sign of stopping. 


They are beautiful animals that form lovely bonds with humans; it’s no wonder that many people feed them in their gardens.  For wild feeding brands and products, our squirrels are perfectly poised and set trained to work in photography studios.  If you require a photoshoot of a well behaved squirrel for branding and packaging purposes, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Crew notes + -

We supply professional animal location handlers around the world to ensure you get all the shots you require and, as overseers to ensure the wild is not disturbed, the crew will always be safe and no welfare regulations are ever breached.


It isn’t just the animals that are well trained, our team including our handlers are also highly experienced and fully qualified experts in the field. 


Your handler will take full control of any animals on set and ensure the entire shoot runs properly. They will also fully manage the welfare of all the animals both on and off set; the safety and welfare of the animals is their prime concern.  All of our handling is strictly force-free and only positive, reward based practices are deployed. This way you can have total confidence that by booking With The Animal Talent everything is taken care of legally, professionally and ethically.


The Performing Animals License is no longer relevant (it was scrapped in 2019) and has been replaced with the Animal Activity Licence, which we hold.

Special measures + -

Our squirrels are covered by a £10 million Public Liability Insurance policy. 


Squirrels naturally are most active before sunrise, especially in winter. Their peak activity is four-five hours before daybreak.  If filming can fit within these timescales, you’ll get the best out of our squirrel models.


If any species of animal listed under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act are required, special measures will need to be put into place for the shoot. Precisely what is appropriate will vary species to species, but may include sectioned off areas where only trained handlers are allowed. In the event of large and dangerous carnivores, a specifically built green screen studio can also be supplied.

Red squirrel 4Red squirrel 3Red squirrel 2Red squirrel 1Grey Squirrel 4Grey Squirrel 3Grey Squirrel 2Grey Squirrel 1