Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis)
Location: Estes Park, Colorado, USA
One of the cutest and friendliest wild critters in the mountains of Colorado is the Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel. They look like plump chipmunks, but without the eye stripe. They are encountered frequently in parks, along hiking trails, and especially in picnic areas where they actively -- and sometimes aggressively -- beg for food. Those tempted to offer these cute creatures a treat would do well to remember that while they may seem very tame, these are indeed wild animals, and they have been known to "bite the hand that feeds."