- The squirrel was photographed by Ian Rentoul at the British Wildlife Centre
- He formed his pose while battling against the wind to stay on his perch
05:39 EST, 22 October 2013
07:25 EST, 22 October 2013
With his bulging muscles, determined stare and orange hue, this squirrel looks like he could give any Mr Universe competitor a run for his money.
But the little creature hasn’t been hitting the weights and protein shakes and his tan definitely hasn’t come from a bottle.
This cute photograph was taken by amateur photographer Ian Rentoul, 54, while on a visit to the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey.
He explained that, rather than trying to strike a pose, the animal was battling against the autumnal weather and trying to stay atop his perch in a bid to get fed.
Strike a pose: One of the British Wildlife Centre’s red squirrels, left, looks like he is set to give eight times Mr Olympia champion bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman, right, a run for his money in the bulging biceps stakes
Mr Rentoul said: ‘He was struggling to sit on his perch, as it was such a windy day, and it was in danger of being blown forwards, so this is why its muscles are so pronounced.
‘I try to see the characters in each animal I photograph, and capture the expressions on their faces and really try to anthropomorphize them.
‘Squirrels are good for this, because they have very expressive faces and movement.’
After waiting only a matter of seconds for its food, the little red super squirrel quickly ran off in search of another person – or potential food source.
Ian explains: ‘The squirrels at The British Wildlife Centre are really quite tame and it and others will regularly jump on your shoulders and climb all over you.
Under threat: Red squirrels, like the one pictured, could be wiped out in England in the next decade
‘The wind was coming from behind it, so its ear tufts were being blown flat.
‘This is what first attracted me to take the image.’
The red squirrel could be wiped out in England within the next decade, with fewer than 140,000 left.
The decline of the red squirrel is due to its interaction with grey squirrels.
The grey squirrel carries a virus, known as squirrelpox. But while the grey species is immune, the virus often proves deadly when passed on to reds.
In addition, grey squirrels eat around seven times more than their red cousins and can be quite aggressive when looking for food, forcing reds out of the equation.