Seriously: New trash cans to blame for declining squirrel population

Ethan Vassar

Editor’s Note: This is a satire piece from The Collegian’s opinion section. Real names may be used in fictitious/semi-fictitious ways. Those who do not read editor’s notes are subject to being offended.

FORT COLLINS – Colorado State University students returning to campus from fall break might find campus to be somewhat unrecognizable. Similar to how the branches of trees around the university’s square-mile campus are now barren,  the campus itself has seen a drastic decrease in the squirrel population. 

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This decline in population is all thanks to the new solar-powered trash and recycling cans that magically appeared overnight on campus about a month ago.

Unlike the previous green trash cans that graced the CSU campus, these trash cans have no open top and require a front-facing compartment to be pulled open with a handle. Unfortunately, squirrels do not have opposable thumbs so they are unable to pry these things open. Squirrels also lack the strength and knowledge to operate such complex machinery. 

Previously, campus squirrels were able to scurry down from the top openings of the now replaced green trash cans. Not only were they able to find food that CSU students had tossed, Carls Jr french fries being the squirrel’s favorites, but they could find shelter and warmth away from the blistering winds and chilly temperatures that accompany fall and winter months in Fort Collins.

This isn’t the case now. Due to the lack of shelter and food, many campus squirrels are dying. Without access to trash cans and student waste, many squirrels are starving or succumbing to the cold weather in grim, chilly deaths.

Due to the lack of shelter and food, many campus squirrels are dying. Without access to trash cans and student waste, many squirrels are starving or succumbing to the cold weather in grim, chilly deaths.

“First, Tony Frank said he’s leaving, then we get new trash cans and now squirrels are dying off,” points out Bailey Morris, a pre-veterinary student. “CSU is really changing, it’ll be unrecognizable next year.”

A future campus without squirrels is certainly not one to look forward to, and there are ways students can prevent this fate.

Instead of disposing of food waste in trash cans, simply litter. Drop whatever leftovers or food you can’t finish anywhere on campus for these squirrels to find so that they don’t starve. 

Students can also contact CSU Facilities Management, which was responsible for bringing these vile, squirrel-killing waste containers to campus. 

The CSU squirrel has been recognized as its own species, and with this drastic loss in population, it could very soon be added to the endangered species list. 

 Satirical writer Ethan Vassar can be reached at letters@collegian.com or online @ethan_vassar.

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