If you see a squirrel lying flat on the ground, don’t panic. It’s probably just ‘splooting,’ officials say

Texas wildlife officials say the heat is prompting squirrels to ‘sploot’ to stay cool

File image of a squirrel.
File image of a squirrel.

If you pass by a squirrel that is face down and sprawled out on the ground, don’t panic. Texas Parks and Wildlife officials say they’re “splooting,” and it’s normal.

As summer temperatures in Texas and San Antonio have stayed consistently high in the last few weeks, these small mammals are doing what they can to beat the heat.

“Splooting” is when squirrels lay spread-eagle, face down with all four paws on a cool surface to help lower their body temperatures, according to wildlife officials.

They can be seen “splooting” on the ground, in trees or on roofs.

Squirrel seen "splooting" on roof.

“As temperatures rise, don’t be surprised if incidences of splooting increase in your area,” officials said on social media.

If you pass by a squirrel and see it “splooting,” in your area, still keep your distance as your normally would. They’re just trying to stay cool like the rest of us.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.