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Sneezy and Squirrel Girl: One Year Later

This time last year, Sneezy was just like any other Penn State squirrel — no Facebook page, no YouTube song, no internet fame.

But since my meeting with Mary Krupa and Sneezy, their lives have certainly changed.

We documented Sneezy’s rise to fame only a month after our story about her and her faithful friend was published — which was, at the time, the most read post in Onward State history. Since then, Sneezy has made it into French, German, and English newspapers and magazines. Mary has appeared all over the country, from a radio show in St. Louis to a morning television show in San Francisco and even on Tosh.0. Sneezy’s allure knows no boundaries.

Sneezy German Magazine
Sneezy in a German magazine

Sneezy French Magazine
Sneezy featured in a French children’s science magazine

When I wrote that post one year ago, Sneezy’s Facebook page had four likes. Today? 10,877.

I met up with Mary, now a sophomore, and Sneezy on the one year anniversary of that fateful day to see how their lives have changed.

According to Mary, instead of being gawked at as was previously the case, she is sought out to help other people become one with their inner squirrel whisperer. People will often stop to take photos and videos of Mary playing with the squirrels or to take photos of the squirrels wearing hats.

People don’t look so confused around her anymore, Mary says, because they know exactly who she is. Everyone from her professors to random students on campus will stop and recognize Mary and sometimes even ask to take a photo with her. She has overtaken Boombox Guy or Michael Pilato as the unofficial first choice for journalism students who need to profile someone for class. It’s no wonder why.

Penn State Squirrels

More importantly though, the most rewarding part about Sneezy’s fame is the acceptance of Mary and her quirky love for squirrels. Initially, her mother was worried that she would be an easy target for bullies but Mary said that both in person and online, she really hasn’t received anything other than warm, positive messages. “You’d have to be a soulless person to not love Sneezy!” she said.

My thoughts exactly.

This year, along with making hats and props for Sneezy’s photo shoots (yes, she really does still make them herself) she belongs to both the Wildlife Society and the Small and Exotic Animal Club (SEAC) and is continuing to pursue a Wildlife Sciences major.

I asked Mary what she imagined her freshman year would have been like had Sneezy not become an International Superstar Squirrel.

“Boring.”

Maggie McGlinchy is 21 years old and still terrified of squirrels ever since a squirrel in her backyard gave her the middle finger. That is a real thing that happened. 

About the Author

Maggie McGlinchy

Senior. Print Journalism Major, Spanish Minor. My only childhood memory involves me playing with a toy circus car.

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