What President Had a Pet Squirrel?
What president had a pet squirrel? Well, if you can name five presidents and their pets, that would make it a long list! We’ve covered Andrew Jackson, John Adams, Calvin Coolidge, and even Lyndon B. Johnson. But can you name more? If you can’t think of a president yet, try one of these:
Presidents have always had pets, and Andrew Jackson had one of the most famous of them all. While President Andrew Jackson was famous for his stuffed alligator, his successor Martin van Buren kept a tiger cub in the White House. Congress wanted the cubs to be released, but Van Buren insisted that they stay at the White House. He argued that the cubs were gifts from the Sultan of Oman, who had given them to him in a private conversation.
Although Andrew Jackson’s beloved pet squirrel, Sam Patch, became a popular household name after the president decided to plunge him into the Niagara River. The nickname “Sam Patch” stuck, as the squirrel became a trademarked saying. In 1829, a pet squirrel named Jackson also helped him win elections, and a white stallion was gifted to him by the city of Philadelphia. While Sam Patch may have been Jackson’s pet, it was not the only animal he owned.
Presidents often kept unusual pets at their homes, and Calvin Coolidge was no exception. Besides having several squirrels and a duiker, he also owned a bobcat, two canaries named Nip and Tuck, a goose named Enoch, and a bobcat named Smoky. But what’s so unusual about a squirrel? Presidents like Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt all had pets, including a squirrel named Pete.
While Coolidge’s pet squirrel was the only famous presidential pet, he had several others in his household. His other pets included a duiker, a small antelope, two canaries named Nip and Tuck, a goose named Enoch, and a bobcat named Smoky. The name of his pet squirrel is not clear, but it is possible that it was named after him.
The second US president, John Adams, had many pets. He owned two mongrel dogs named Juno and Satan, as well as a horse named Cleopatra. One of his dog’s names is lost to history, but one of his other famous pets was an alligator. The alligator was a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette, who came to visit the White House.
After graduating from Harvard College, Adams entered law school. He wrote many popular articles on political and constitutional issues, and was a major force in helping the American people gain independence from Great Britain. In the years that followed, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and was the main author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780. He was also an influential contributor to the draft of the Declaration of Independence, and traveled to France and Holland to represent the newly independent nation.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Former president Lyndon B. Johnson once owned a pet squirrel named Yuki. Luci Nugent found Yuki in 1966 at a gas station on her way to the LBJ Ranch. Originally named “Snow,” the squirrel was adopted by the Johnson family. Despite the president’s dislike of squirrels, Yuki quickly won the president’s heart and became an essential part of his life.
In the 20th century, many rich families also adopted a pet squirrel. These families often decorated the animal’s cage with gold chain leashes, and had portraits of their children drawn with it. Many artists and craftspeople were delighted with the trend. And the presidents who rescued the creatures did so with great care and attention. But while pet squirrels may seem like a good idea, wildlife conservationists warn that it’s not recommended to own one.
Martin van Buren
One of the most famous presidents to have a pet was Martin van Buren. He became president in 1837 and inherited some of the same traits as Andrew Jackson. He loved riding horses and even maintained presidential stables. He also received two tiger cubs from the Sultan of Oman as a gift. In a famous letter, he told Congress that he wanted to keep the cubs at the White House. But Congress didn’t like the idea. So, he donated them to the local zoo.
In addition to dogs, other famous presidents had pets. Calvin Coolidge had a raccoon named Rebecca who enjoyed leashed walks. He also owned a sheep named Laddie Boy and hosted a birthday party for him in which he served dog biscuits with frosting. President Theodore Roosevelt was also known to keep exotic animals in his White House. In fact, he once kept two tigers in his residence.
Which president had a pet squirrel?
Answer 1: George Washington had a pet squirrel.
Why did George Washington have a pet squirrel?
Answer 2: He found the squirrel injured and nursed it back to health.
What did George Washington name his pet squirrel?
Answer 3: He named it Hinkey.
Was Hinkey the only pet squirrel that George Washington had?
Answer 4: No he also had a pet squirrel named Mugsy.
What was special about Mugsy?
Answer 5: Mugsy was born at Mount Vernon.
How did George Washington keep his pet squirrels from becoming bored?
Answer 6: He would take them for walks on a leash.
Did any other presidents have pet squirrels?
Answer 7: Yes Abraham Lincoln had two pet squirrels named Jocko and Jack.
What did Abraham Lincoln feed his pet squirrels?
Answer 8: He fed them nuts and berries.
Did Abraham Lincoln ever take his pet squirrels for walks?
Answer 9: No but he did allow them to run freely in the White House.
Did any other presidents have any other unusual pets?
Answer 10: Yes James Buchanan had a pet eagle and Andrew Jackson had a pet parrot.
How did James Buchanan’s pet eagle get its name?
Answer 11: He named it Old Buck.
What did Andrew Jackson’s pet parrot do that was so unusual?
Answer 12: It was known to curse.
Which president had a pet alligator?
Answer 13: John Quincy Adams.
How did John Quincy Adams get his pet alligator?
Answer 14: It was a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette.
What did John Quincy Adams keep his pet alligator in?
Answer 15: He kept it in the East Room of the White House.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.