London Black Squirrels Take Over Kent State University™

kent-squirrelIn February 1961, Larry Wooddell, the superintendent of KSU’s™ 500 acres, and Biff Staples, a Davey Tree expert, ventured to Ontario, Canada to obtain 10 cages with black squirrels. Both men worked with the Canadian Wildlife Service and American and Canadian Customs for permission to move the squirrels.
• A second trip was made in early March in 1961 to a London, Ontario Park to obtain more squirrels.
• By 1964, the Kent Record-Courier observed that there were up to 150 squirrels in the area.
•When first released, the large, black-spiked squirrels were frequently mistaken for skunks.
• No similar concentrations existed in the central and eastern parts of Ohio prior to 1961. This was changed when Larry Wooddel & Biff Staples brought back the London Ontario black squirrels.
• Today they own the campus and the squirrels have been spotted in places such as: Warren, Cleveland, Barberton, Akron, and Canton.
•Russell Foldessy, Superintendent of KSU™ grounds, says “They don’t hurt anything, in fact the rabbits and chipmunks are harder on plants and in making holes in the ground.”
• An annual Black Squirrel Festival is held each fall at KSU™ featuring performers, black squirrel photo and drawing contests, an organizations fair, crafts displays, and a 4.2 mile Black Squirrel Run.


 London, Ontario is known as the
” Forest City” and  Kent, Ohio is known as the “Tree City”

sam-140[1]Logo used with permission from Artist: Kenneth McGregor

Black Squirrel Links Kent State University & Kent Ohio