Grey Squirrels for sale, $1.66 each

Were the first grey squirrels that plague Vancouver attics today really a gift from New York in 1914?
The small Douglas squirrel is indigenous; the larger grey (and black) squirrel is not. In 1909, Vancouver Parks Board Chair Charles Tsdall wrote to various American cities in search of purchasing “grey squirrels” for Stanley Park. The City of Vancouver Archives holds numerous other letters over several years relating to this quest. There is also a receipt made out to Chas. Tsdall which reads, “2 doz grey squirrels to be shipped as soon as possible – $40”. The receipt is from Wenz & Mackensen, Naturalists, Yardley, Pennsylvania and dated January 3, 1910. They were one of many private companies of the day who were breeders, importers and dealers in live game. Dealer’s catalogues included; wild African boar, extra wild $125, a two year old polar bear $370, armadillo $6, eagle $20, Bengal tiger $1,200 and snakes at 50 cents a pound.

According to other documents at Archives, it appears there was a problem securing those 2 dozen and the search for replacements promptly continued…. update to this Post TBA….

Photo: City of Vancouver Archives, 190?. Caption: “Young boy watching a squirrel climb a tree at Stanley Park.” CVA 677-664

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