Jill Layton
Updated Jul 28, 2015 @ 3:40 pm

OK, it’s official. Squirrels who live on college campuses are smarter than the average squirrel. A group of squirrels have found a simple way of getting endless food — by playing dress-up with a student. Mary Krupa is known around the Penn State campus as the “squirrel whisperer” because of her unique friendship with squirrels. Krupa will be a senior in the fall, but when she was a freshman, she noticed that some the squirrels on campus weren’t afraid of her and even let her pet them and feed them. So, naturally, Krupa decided the most reasonable next step would be to dress the squirrels in tiny costumes and then photograph them for Facebook. But don’t worry, the squirrels are willing participants.

Krupa’s creations, which we first spotted on BoredPanda, are incredibly creative. She is always able to photograph the squirrels at the exact right moments to make it seem like they’re super thrilled about playing dress-up. It’s possible they were actually super thrilled about playing dress-up, though, especially since they were promised delicious squirrel food as payment. It’s not like they had other places to be.

In an interview Krupa did for YouTube, she explained how she got began costuming squirrels. “I’m a huge animal lover. And so when I saw that the squirrels here are really so friendly as to let you touch them, I figured, if the squirrel lets me touch it, maybe I can put a little hat on it.” The little hat was the first costume the squirrels agreed to wear, but definitely not the last.

Squirrels are obviously food-driven, but it takes some really special and trusting squirrels to allow a human to dress them up as a tiny Medieval Times warrior, a tiny DJ (DJ Squirrel, to be exact), a tiny saxophonist and a tiny retiree living in Florida.

Krupa will find whichever squirrel is being extra friendly and cooperative that day to allow her to take pictures, and that squirrel will become “Sneezy.” Sneezy is actually four different female Eastern gray squirrels, not just one.

“It happens all the time — you’ll find a not friendly squirrel, but even the friendly ones will only really tolerate me playing with them for so long. Then whenever they’re done, they’ll just just like climb up the tree and they’ll basically just say, ‘Ok, I’m done.’ I have to respect that and just let the animals really dictate what happens.”

Krupa really seems to have a mutually respectful and loving relationship with the squirrels, and did we mention her photos are insanely precious? Here, have a look-see:

Featured images via Facebook