waterskiing squirrel

Famous waterskiing squirrel banned from Toronto

Twiggy the waterskiing squirrel is beloved in Toronto for her appearances at the International Boat Show — including the most recent show, which saw her skiing to raise awareness about water safety at the Enercare Centre last month. 

And if you happened to catch a glimpse of Twiggy's most recent Toronto performance, count yourself lucky, because it's likely to be her last. 

A provision in the city's animal protection bylaws prohibits keeping an eastern grey squirrel in captivity, and Toronto's Chief Communications Officer Brad Ross reiterated this rule in a tweet earlier today. 

"No, Toronto, you cannot have an elephant as a pet. Nor a bear, flamingo, hyena or even an Eastern Grey Squirrel," he wrote along with full list of animals that are prohibited in the city of Toronto. 

Toronto Mayor John Tory told Global News he sees the humour in Twiggy's performances, but he also "understand[s] why the law was passed" and "why that means we have to let people know that is the law."

And it seems Toronto isn't the only city where this rodent is causing trouble.

Twiggy is currently at Vancouver's International Boat Show until February 9, but the Vancouver Sun reported that she's performing illegally. 

"Business prohibition bylaw no. 5156, enacted by council on April 11, 1978, explicitly prohibits any business from using 'rodentia' and several other exotic animals, including anteaters and all other insectivores but African pygmy hedgehogs, 'in a competition, exhibition, performance, event, or other situation,'" the article states. 

And by continuing to perform despite this fact, both Twiggy Inc. and the Vancouver International Boat Show are at risk of being fined between $500 and $10,000 for each individual performance. 

Twiggy's show consists of her being pulled around on water skis behind a tiny, remote-controlled boat while wearing a mini orange life jacket. 

The first waterskiing squirrel performance was in 1979, and several eastern grey squirrels have been trained to do the Twiggy act ever since. 

Lead photo by

twiggysinc


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