UPDATE: Student-led fundraiser seeks to ‘preserve squirrel’s legacy’
UPDATE 1:30 a.m., Wednesday: A GoFundMe was started by former VoteforMeme presidential candidate Robert Comer late Tuesday night to raise money for the preservation of the White Squirrel. Around midnight, VoteforMeme’s Facebook page reported that an anonymous student had donated the $550 needed for taxidermy, in full.
“The thought of future coogs not being able to see this salacious squirrel has weighed heavy on the hearts of all students,” the fundraising page states. “In order to share the elegance of the white squirrel, we ask that you donate money to help us preserve it’s legacy.”
Though the cost of the taxidermy has been covered, students are encouraged to continue donating toward the funding for a memorial in May, according to the post. The fundraising page states that future donations may also go toward a more intricate taxidermy and an eventual case for the squirrel.
UPDATE Monday: The University has commented on the death of the White Squirrel.
With sadness, we share that an unusual campus legend – the white tailed squirrel – has peacefully passed away. Thanks for the memories. pic.twitter.com/qpX9J3YmGN
— UniversityofHouston (@UHouston) March 20, 2017
The Cullen Family Plaza Fountain may have quietly turned on over spring break, but the campus community is mourning the loss of another long-standing campus tradition.
Though it is unknown if his presence had a real effect on students’ grades, the White-Tailed Squirrel was said to be a symbol of good luck if a student saw him before an exam. He was found dead Monday in front of Butler Plaza. The cause of death is unknown.
“He was a symbol of hope and love before your midterms,” said mechanical engineering junior Melissa Ng. “He’s been here for as long as I have.”
Campus squirrels are well-known for their friendliness and approachability, and are often fed by passing students.
The squirrel with the white-tipped tail went by many names. Some students, like marketing junior Paulino Lopez and management information systems junior Ayesha Siddiqui, said they even gave him a proper name — Alex.
He was first reported to be lying on the ground around lunchtime by management information science junior Lillie Cao in a University Facebook page. The Cougar later confirmed the squirrel was dead.
Students continue to grieve for the good luck charm on social media.
I’m shaking https://t.co/rOZ89DCT0L
— ur fave honeybun (@briaatortillaa) March 20, 2017
The one squirrel I never got to feed 😭 https://t.co/2qnFFdBRXg
— Albert Hernandez (@ajhern_) March 20, 2017
This ruined my week https://t.co/VFbvSl0Nbw
— hamster (@eml_h_) March 20, 2017
the loss of an icon https://t.co/L6FxFgRquF
— K A T E L Y N (@skinnykenney15) March 20, 2017
Marketing sophomore Evelyn Hidalgo was one of several students who stopped by the squirrel’s resting place to share memories and pay her respects.
“I was so excited to see him before my tests,” Hidalgo said. “He was legendary.”
A comment on the original Facebook post where the death was first announced raising funds for a taxidermist.