10:48 EST, 17 October 2013
14:30 EST, 17 October 2013
Now that the U.S. government is back in business, it means the feast is over for White House squirrels who have overrun the first lady’s garden.
When the government shutdown more than two weeks ago, most White House gardeners were furloughed and those that were allowed to stay on were only allowed to water the plants. Triming, fetrilizing, transplanting, mowing and harvesting were all off limits.
Without any human intervention, the White House squirrels went to town on the Obama’s prized organic garden, muching on tomatoes and the rest of the produce just coming into harvest.
Back on the old diet: Squirrels overran the White House garden during the 16-day government shutdown. Now with gardeners back at work, it looks like they won’t be eating up the entire tomato harvest anymore
‘The bushy-tailed residents are feasting on the ripe Sungolds on the vines, as well as on other tomatoes and peppers littering the ground,’ Eddie Gehman Kohan wrote last week on her blog Obama Foodorama.
Kohan explains that squirrels have always been a problem in the garden, but once the gardeners were furloughed, they became ‘kids in a candy store, gorging themselves’.
The shutdown also temporarily put on hold plans to capture a fox who invaded the property more than two weeks before the shutdown.
Fox’s new home: During the shutdown, groundskeepers also temporarily stopped their hunt for a fox that infiltrated the property a few weeks prior to the shutdown. Above, Dianna Nanez’s picture of a fox on the Capitol grounds a few weeks before the shutdown
According to Kohen, the fox has been glimpsed several times around dawn and dusk.
While the fox has eluded photographers, one source sent the Huffington Post a picture of the fox on the White House grounds about a month before the shutdown.
I ‘was walking by just as it turned dark and he came right up to the fence,’ Luke Copeland told HuffPo. ‘It was about 8 or 9pm. Another guy saw it at the same time as me and we just looked at each other in amazement!’
Dianna Nanez also captured a picture of what she believes to be the same fox a few weeks ago at the Capitol.
‘Guess he prefers the White House,’ Ms Nanez told MailOnline.
No word yet on what will become of the White House fox, or how the squirrels have reacted to the end of their 16-day feast.
Eviction day? No word yet on what happens to the fox now that groundskeepers are allowed to return to work