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The Online Knowledge Magazine

Driven Nuts

Courtesy Jim Burnett, author of Hey Ranger!

Some visitors to parks get into trouble by feeding or getting too close to a wild animal in their quest for a photo.

A tourist at Glacier National Park wanted a picture of a ground squirrel, but it wouldn't leave its rocky den.

In what seemed like a good idea at the time, the photographer decided to dangle his car keys in front of the den, hoping to draw the squirrel out into the open. Waving something bright and noisy in front of the family cat, or a human baby, may be a great way to get a cute photo at home, but not in the Great Outdoors. The keys got the squirrel's attention, but the man didn't expect it to literally take the bait.

The animal bolted from its den, snatched the keys and just as quickly darted back underground, prize firmly in tow! All attempts to retrieve the keys were unsuccessful, and since an extra set was not available, a very expensive trip by a locksmith was required to get the man on the road again.

There are countless ways to lose your car keys while on vacation, but having them heisted by a ground squirrel qualifies for the "get a grip" award.