A guide to NU wildlife

    Northwestern’s campus doesn’t just contain students and the occassional Jew for Jesus. It also hides a fine variety of critters, ranging from furry to scaly. To help you get familar with NU’s ecosystem, Cute Animal Blog presents this handy guide to the animals you’ll find around school.


    Photo courtesy of Odalaigh on Flickr under Creative Commons

    The most prevalent creature on campus, squirrels don’t shy away from attention. They’ll frolic on fields and in trees, rarely fazed by incoming humans. They will sometimes rummage through garbage cans, so don’t be stunned if one pops out of the rubbish or occasionally stars in NU media.

    Black Squirrels

    Rarer than your typical brown variation, anytime people see a black squirrel they immediately must begin discussing how cool black squirrels are. Popular enough to warrant the existence of the “Black Squirrels are the bomb” Facebook group.


    Mostly seen at night, searching for food. Based on personal experience, they tend to pop out of places all of the sudden. Last year, I kept seeing a raccoon who limped around campus. I hope that little guy is OK now.


    Another predominantly nighttime creature. A pretty rare sight, though they are hard to mistake for another animal when you see them. Usually very fat and slow, but endearing in their own opossumy way. Tragically, I have never seen one hanging from its tail.


    Similar to a squirrel, only smaller. And less interesting to watch.


    The scourge of campus. Do not approach a skunk, at any cost. If you frighten this critter, you/your friends/your dorm will be doused in an extremely foul stank. Mostly come out at night. Sure, they stink, but they have plenty of redeeming qualities too.


    The rarest creature on campus. I’ve never seen a fox, but a friend claims she saw one once. If you see one, consider yourself lucky.

    The fish in the lakefill

    I’m not sure what the fish in the lakefill actually look like, but this comes closest to capturing what they look like in my nightmares. DON’T GO IN THE WATER.


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