When YouTuber Mark Rober was stuck in quarantine, he decided to start birdwatching. After buying a bird feeder, however, he discovered that the squirrels got into his “squirrel-proof feeder,” so he bought another model—only for it to be pilfered by the rodents yet again. (And then again.) That's when the former NASA engineer decided to put his expertise to use. Rober designed and built an epic obstacle course in his backyard in an attempt to “get revenge” and challenge the cute and cunning creatures.
Featuring string bridges, a “maze of a thousand corridors’, “pitchfork tumblers” (inspired by the TV game show Wipe Out), and more tricky challenges, Rober’s 8-part obstacle course looks difficult for even the nimblest of creatures. However, the engineer admits that he underestimated the intelligence and agility of his local squirrels.
Rober secretly filmed each contender playfully navigating their way through each obstacle. He even named each squirrel—“clever” Rick, “spooks-easily” Marty, “brave-but-dumb” Frank, and “charming” Phat Gus (who later turned out to be a pregnant female squirrel). Each courageous critter is captured trying, failing, and eventually mastering the fun run.
Of all of the challenges the squirrels had to face, the most humorous is one that occurred near the finish line. Called the “Tourist Trap,” it featured a hand-painted cowboy character on a board that the squirrels are encouraged to stick their head through for a picture (just like the photo ops at carnivals). From there, it wasn't long until they received their prize—a tasty supply of walnuts!
Watch Rober’s video below to see exactly how each squirrel attempted his obstacle course.