From the March 2014 Our State Magazine, North Carolina "Our Most Maligned Mammal" by Susan Stafford Kelly.
"Considered bird-feeder thieves by many -- and even worse by some -- these furry creatures are still our cutest state symbol -- paws down."
In 1969, the N.C. General assembly designated the gray squirrel as the state's official mammal.
Generally speaking, anything squirrel is not a positive reference. There are no teams nicknamed the Squirrels. How much fear would that strike in opponents? No N.C. state products use a squirrel as a logo (although the town of Olney, Illinois, is more than a bit proud of their albino squirrels). If a person is referred to as a squirrel, that is not good either.
Squirrels eat a big variety of foods: acorns, fruit, even trees and are "rapacious, mindless eaters." "squirrels raid birdfeeders, too...."
Love Those Squirrels. --RoadDog