Theodore Roosevelt and his family had many pets during their lifetimes. Great animal lovers, the Roosevelts did not limit themselves to merely dogs and cats. At various periods they owned animals such as kangaroo rats, a badger named Josiah, and even a flying squirrel.
Flying squirrels – despite their name – do not actually fly. But they are capable of gliding from tree to tree. These squirrels were a common sight at the Roosevelt family’s Sagamore Hill home. In fact, one time Kermit even discovered a nest containing a mother and her 6 baby flying squirrels in a hollow tree. “She seemed so tame and friendly that for a moment the little boy hardly realized that she was a wild thing, and called down that he had ‘found a guinea pig up a tree’” said Roosevelt in The Green Roosevelt: Theodore Roosevelt in Appreciation of Wilderness, Wildlife, and Wild Places.
While it is not said where the Roosevelt family obtained their pet flying squirrel, it seems likely that it was either captured or rescued while they were at Sagamore Hill.
Like the kangaroo rats, the squirrel would often rest in the shirt pockets of the Roosevelt children, and join the family at the table for meals.