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Hokkaido squirrel busy preparing for winter amid vibrant fall foliage in north Japan

A Hokkaido squirrel is seen moving among trees whose leaves have turned red and yellow, as it searches for food in the village of Nakasatsunai, Hokkaido, on Oct. 13, 2020. (Mainichi/Taichi Kaizuka)

NAKASATSUNAI, Hokkaido -- A Hokkaido squirrel was recently spotted playing in the colorful autumn trees as it stored food in preparation for winter at a forest near this village in Japan's northernmost prefecture.

    The squirrel is about 20 centimeters long, excluding the tail, and is characterized by its raised hairs on its ears. The animals don't hibernate and move around actively as they hide food in the ground in autumn to eat in the leaner months ahead.

    A squirrel was seen jumping to a nearby maple tree after eating pine nuts and then darting about through the colorful leaves.

    (Japanese original by Taichi Kaizuka, Hokkaido Photo Group)

    In Photos: Hokkaido squirrel hunts for food among fall foliage in northern Japan

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