Nowadays the variety of pets people can choose from is never-ending.
There’s conventional choices, such as cats and dogs, and more exotic creatures, like snakes, chameleons, rats or even miniature goats.
Yet a pet squirrel is not something you see everyday.
But in the town of Hailsham in West Sussex, a man has been spotted regularly walking one of the rodents on a lead.
A bemused onlooker captured the sight outside Hailsham Tesco, and soon went on to share it online, Sussex Live reports.
In the clip, Geri Burt, who captured the video, is heard saying: “The man’s got a squirrel on a lead,” to which another equally confused spectator replies with bemusement: “A squirrel on a lead?”
In the video, the bushy-tailed rodent is happily undertaking his business with two shoppers taking a huge interest in him and apparently trying to stroke him.
The footage was recently uploaded to a local Facebook page by Geri’s dad, leaving fellow members of the group amazed and delighted.
Captioned ‘Hailsham is bonkers but I expect NUTS would be better,’ replies to the original post indicated that the squirrel was in fact Alvin, a squirrel rescued and nursed back to full health by a local man named Mehmet, who has become something of a local ‘celebrity’.
Whilst other parts of Sussex can boast celebrities including Kate Winslet, Zoe Ball, or Robert Smith, Hailsham is surely alone in calling a rescued squirrel its most famous resident.
Whilst Alvin doesn’t appear to have high-pitched singing as part of his repertoire (as far as we’re aware), he certainly seems a popular member of the Hailsham community and is happy to entertain.
He even stars in his very own TikTok channel which chronicles his antics.
Called Mehment and Alvin, the channel has amassed slightly more than 1,000 followers and shows regular updates of Alvin going about his everyday life.
It seems being taken for a walk on a lead is not uncommon for Alvin either with several videos on the channel showing the two out and about together.
Mehmet, who appears to be a local Hailsham shop owner, has also shared multiple videos of himself walking around Hailsham whilst Alvin sits atop his head.
Now, we’re not sure whether your run of the mill pet shop would sell a squirrel sized lead, but it seems to do the trick for Alvin who happily trots along and observes the natural world from the confines of Mehmet’s shoulder.
Whilst Alvin hasn’t yet hit the heights from singing in a band alongside Simon and Theodore like his chipmunk namesake, he still appears to be a bit of an icon in Hailsham.
Hopefully he soon stars in a film of his own.