'Squirrel Whisperer' becomes campus celebrity

A squirrel (APTN)
A squirrel (APTN)

Penn State's "Squirrel Whisperer" is close to graduating, but her photos of squirrels are still going strong.

Student Mary Krupa became famous four years ago for placing tiny hats on squirrels and getting them to hold little props.

Her photos of "Sneezy the Penn State Squirrel" continue to get thousands of likes from around the world.

"It's nice to make something and see that people like it. But I didn't think it would last this long or become this popular," said Ms Krupa, who graduates this month.

She began the project to cheer up other students after Penn State was hit with a sexual abuse scandal.

"Everyone was really just down in the dumps, and I figured that Penn State needed something good to take their mind off things, cheer up. And so I started posting these pictures on Facebook," she says.

It's also helped Ms Krupa make friends. She was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and struggled to make friends in high school.

She says her squirrel series has helped her socially.

"The squirrel's actually a good way to break the ice, because I'll be sitting here patting a squirrel and other people will come over and we'll just start feeding the squirrels together and chatting about them," she said. "I am a lot more outgoing."

After she graduates, Ms Krupa plans on staying in the area and taking more photos of the squirrels -news her fans will rejoice at.