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Squirrel Appreciation Day 2012: Photo Competition

First Posted: 01/21/2012 9:33 am EST   Updated: 01/22/2012 6:38 pm EST

It's that time of year again. No, January 21 is not just the start of excessively premature Valentine's Day ads, it's also Squirrel Appreciation Day. What a nutty holiday.

Squirrels have had a busy year. They've faced off with a Lamborghini, set off a fire alarm and invaded an ER.

Perhaps best known as the animal that likes acorns and gets run over by cars a lot, it's about time we take a step back to appreciate the finer side of squirrels.

National Geographic reports that there are over 300 squirrel species throughout the world, with sizes ranging from just five inches long (nose to tail) to three feet long. They're wily creatures -- according to NWF, squirrels hide their food through a complex process where they pretend to bury the item multiple times before actually choosing a hiding spot.

They've faced many challenges over the past year, surviving hurricanes, dealing with pepper-spraying officers, and being confronted with potential acorn shortages.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, Squirrel Appreciation Day was created by Christy Hargrove, a wildlife rehabilitator from North Carolina.

Click here for tips on how you can celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day.

Love your squirrels? Show us your pictures below, and click here for inspiration from last year.

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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |