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Researchers become friends with a squirrel after teaching it to ring a bell for food

Impressed by the squirrel's ability to learn to ring the bell, scientists named him Kluyver after famous microbiologist Albert Kluyver.

Researchers become friends with a squirrel after teaching it to ring a bell for food
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @aethleflaed

No one returns from the UC Berkeley microbiology lab without learning a thing or two, not even a squirrel. Researchers acquainted themselves with this little guy by giving him almonds to eat. They also taught him how to ring a bell which was located next to the lab, whenever he needed a treat. Now, every time he successfully pulls the lever, he gets an almond.

Alienor Baskevitch, a UC Berkeley microbiologist, said: "I heard this incessant ringing noise, and I was like, 'What is going on?' My co-worker was like, 'Oh we taught the squirrel to ring the bell.'" However, they make sure to not overfeed him as that would make him dependent on the almonds, reports CBS News. They named him Kluyver after famous microbiologist Albert Kluyver. People online were surprised, and their input even changed the setup.

Image Source: TikTok | @aethlefaled
Image Source: TikTok | @aethlefaled

This video was uploaded on TikTok by Baskevitch and many comments followed. @Gabrielle Crump wrote, "Boss: 'What have you done for this company?' Me: 'I trained a squirrel to ring a bell for a snack.'" @Zoomer commented, "The squirrels say, 'My coworker taught these humans to give us a snack when we ring this bell.'" @p wrote, "Omg I never thought about Pavlov-ing a squirrel... must try this."

Meanwhile, @lilredlpn4 observed: "Dude they couldn’t make it a little shorter for him," and @Laura wrote, "Someone would have to be there on the weekends. I wouldn’t enjoy my day knowing no one answered it lol." Alienor replied, "We pull the string in when no one is around so he doesn’t ring it needlessly."

Finally, in another video uploaded by the Alienor, Kluyver got a cup booster seat so he would not have to jump to get a pistachio or an almond. The caption of the video reads, "He’s learned how to use his cup booster seat, and I gave him a longer string. What other fun challenges should we make for Kluyver?"

Image Source: TikTok | aethleflaed
Image Source: TikTok | aethleflaed

TikTok users in the comments section were appreciative of the modifications made to accommodate Kluyver. @user4997510801194 wrote, "Based upon the way they climb my 6' bird feed poles, it's all good. Love these! Thanks." @Razzburry commented, "Win-win.. longer string, step to get up, and a variety of nuts." @Christie wrote, "I love this so much. (Now I have a new life goal) I found you from a news article a friend tagged me cuz I’ve posted squirrel videos too."


@MrWolf wrote, "I just saw you on CNN10, your efforts on training a squirrel to ring a bell are very talented, keep up the good work." @MisseySimpkins expressed surprise, writing: "I can't believe these videos aren't viral with them being on major news channels." 

We hope to find out more about Kluyver with time and to keep you updated.

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