Saturday, May 06, 2006

Chipmunks in Albania!

Today we spotted these two adorable little chipmunks in a cage in a petshop in Tirana! I really think that's bizarre! Chipmunks are North American wild animals, much like squirrels, but a lot smaller. I stooped down and took a couple of shots and the owner watched over my shoulder. I stood up and asked him where he got them from. "Are they Albanian?" I asked. "No" he said. "So are they from ummm Canada??" I asked hopefully. "Yes yes from Canada" he replied.

I stood there wondering how in the world did these two little creatures immigrate to Albania, of all places. How did they get here? Were they stowaways in a suitcase? Were they in cages? Surely chipmunks can't legally cross the ocean!

When I was a young girl in Canada we would often spend our vacations 'up north' at a cottage in the country and these little animals would entertain us for hours. We trained them to climb up our legs onto our laps and take peanuts out of our hands. They were often bold but never dangerous, and I thought they were the cutest things in the forest. Seeing them here in the city trapped in a small cage made me feel a bit sad, but at the same time there was something special seeing two little natives from 'my country' so far away from home, like me.

13 comments:

hockeyman said...

you learn something everyday. I had no idea that chipmunks were not international.

of course... we also had Alvin and the chipmunks every Saturday morning....

Mlle Defarge said...

Aww, you shoul have taken them home and named them Chip and Dale (of course, you'd have to hide them from Coco...)

christina said...

Aww, bless their little chipmunk hearts. I haven't seen one in years. If only they could talk, eh? What a long journey!

Once when I was a kid on a family camping trip, I was sleeping in a tent with my brothers and kept feeling something rustling around in my hair but every time I looked, there was nothing there. Finally I just freaked out, thinking it was a giant spider or something and made my dad get a flashlight and check it out. Turns out we had left an open bag of marshmallows in our tent and a tiny chipmunk had been running in and out the whole evening, using my pillow as an escape route. :-)

nikinpos said...

I hope they get looked after well!
I've always read your adress as acrosst helana! I 've just realised how to read it properly! duh!

melusina said...

Aww, I love chipmunks. Whenever I saw them on a hike I'd jump up and down happily. I feel a bit sorry for these little fellas, though.

I always forget that not every creature in the world can be found in every place in the world. My husband and I were talking about birds and I mentioned the bright blue robin eggs and he had no idea what I was talking about. So weird.

Cynthia Rae said...

Chipmunks, eh?
I just wrote a long comment and "poof" it is gone. Anyway these little fella sure are cute. Didn't you buy them and take them home? I bet your dog would have LOVED that!
Cyn

Ms. Mac said...

They're certainly very cute. The day I met my husband I discovered that he had never seen a squirrel in his life because they're not native Australian fauna!

And the excitement I felt when I saw my first possum was almost tangible!

verniciousknids said...

My only experience with chipmunks is via Disney...but these little guys are very cute!

rowena said...

Aww...they are just so darn cute! I'd hate to see them in cages too but I should stop right there because just this morning I had the idea that I should have "stolen" atleast one of the baby mejiro birds to keep in a cage for myself.

Shame on me.

The post about the bread incident however is a riot.....!

Ginnie said...

It's amazing how when you grow up with something (like chipmunks) you think everyone knows about them, but they don't. I grew up with chipmunks in Michigan but when I moved to Georgia, I met people who had never seen any! They really are adorable.

Kim/Thomas said...

thomas had never seen them before, we saw them in canada and he was in awe, he couldn't believe it, and didn't want me to move..they are cute!
wouldn't want them in my room though!

Expat Traveler said...

oh how cute!

Tracie B. said...

now i will have that damn song in my head for a week...;)