After finding him abandoned in the forest, this guy adopted a baby chipmunk who grew up to be his best friend.
Meet Gustave the Belgian squirrel, which is actually known as the Siberian chipmunk. They’re normally endemic to Russia and the Northern bits of Asia (which is still mostly Russia), but have been introduced as an invasive species in Belgium and Denmark. They don’t have chipmunks in those countries, so they just wind up calling them squirrels.
Anyway, Tanguy was just walking around a forest near Brussels when he came across a tiny baby chipmunk. The little guy was cold and abandoned with no sign of his mother anywhere. So he picked him up and brought him home.
In the two years since then, Gustave has grown up to be a curious and inquisitive little chipmunk. He’s got no fear of people, and uses his incredible climbing skills to crawl up Tanguy’s pants and shirt to take naps in his sleeves, pockets, or hood.
Tanguy is a great parent to the little rodent, providing Gustave with multiple residences inside his apartment. A birdhouse located atop a cabinet is Gustave’s “Swiss chalet”, while a homemade structure on Tanguy’s desk is Gustave’s primary residence. He even has a summer home in the form of a hanging basket between two windows.
Living with a chipmunk isn’t exactly easy. Gustave likes to leave random “presents” in the wintertime, and no, we’re not talking about droppings. Like all chipmunks, when winter rolls around Gustave is struck by an intense desire to hide away provisions for the long, cold months. Trouble is, he likes to hide them in odd places, like in the sole of Tanguy’s shoes or inside his home theatre speakers.
Naturally, you can check out Gustave and his many antics on his Instagram page. Sadly, Gustave won’t be updating much anymore: he died on Christmas Day in an unfortunate accident with the family dog. Tanguy’s parting message is incredibly sweet, and The Dodo has made a fitting send-off, showcasing the unlikely bond between a man and his chipmunk.