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Dave Hunchak sitting in front of the squirrel sized saloon that he constructed.

'My favourite part is the piano': Retired Saskatoon engineer builds saloon for hungry backyard squirrels

Dave Hunchak (BE'86) has been keeping busy entertaining squirrels while self-isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hunchak began spending more time in his backyard feeding the neighbouring squirrels when thought of building a miniature saloon, as reported by CTV News.

“I have always loved interacting with the squirrels, and enjoyed feeding them a peanut, so this year I thought I would try something different with the saloon.”

Hunchak, a retired engineer, began drafting the plans for his new squirrel sized saloon, which he built by hand using wood and plastic.

“I used a lot of scraps and bought some plastic for the 3D printer to build the furniture and put it together.”

Hunchak says it took him 100 hours in total to complete the One Star Saloon, spending a few hours each day building the structure and furnishings.

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It features a bar with miniature beer bottles along with tables, chairs and a large piano.

“My favourite part is the piano, I love how it turned out. Also the bottles because I fill them with peanut butter and the squirrels will eat out of them.”

The squirrels are territorial, leading to many bar fights, he said.

Six to seven squirrels visit the saloon each day. He has given a few of them names such as Ricardo and Sir John Franklin.

“They visit a lot so I figured I would name them, I can recognize a few of them through distinctive features,” said Hunchak.

Hunchak says this was his biggest squirrel project so far – but it won’t be the last.

“I am not sure yet what I will build, I might first update a few things but there are lots of possibilities so anything is possible.”

Full article and video at https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca.

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