In a heartwarming display of talent, a water-skiing squirrel wows fans with its impressive aquatic tricks.
Toni Marie Tedesco, 36, and her husband Chuck Best Jr., 41, hailing from Florida, have mastered the art of showcasing their incredibly skilled pets.
These extraordinary animals have been trained to water ski, creating captivating shows that entertain crowds of people.
Continuing the Legacy: Twiggy the Water-Skiing Squirrel
Embracing the family tradition of Twiggy the water-skiing squirrel, Toni and Chuck take pride in their engaging performances.
The couple has dedicated themselves to teaching squirrels the art of water skiing, and they regularly organize shows that captivate and delight audiences.
Remarkably, the squirrel known as Twiggy is the fourth of its kind to be trained by this Florida-based duo.
A Tale of Rescue and Skill Development
The story of Twiggy begins decades ago, when Chuck and Lou Ann Best rescued the first squirrel of its kind in 1978.
The squirrel, named Twiggy, was displaced from its nest during a hurricane.
The legacy has since continued, with Toni Marie Tedesco sharing, “Chuck has been raised doing this as his parents are the ones who started Twiggy the Water-Skiing Squirrel.
For myself, I have been doing this for two years. All of our squirrels are rescues! We do not breed or just take squirrels from the wild.
When we rehabilitate squirrels, they become part of our family and are extremely spoiled and well cared for.”
Nurturing Trust and Skill
Toni emphasizes the intelligence of squirrels and the process of training them.
She explains, “Once you earn an animal’s love and trust, it’s easy! Squirrels are super smart animals; we start off with getting the squirrels to stand on the skis outside of the water and then we walk with them in circles in the pool and start getting them to do one lap.”
The training is gradual and respectful of the squirrels’ preferences.
Toni adds, “It takes a few months and practice is only about five to ten minutes, we don’t force them, it is something they like to do.”
Bringing Joy and Education
The performances by Twiggy and her companions have garnered widespread acclaim.
Toni shares, “The feedback we have received at shows is outstanding! Everyone that comes to the shows absolutely loves it.
Kids are always laughing and cheering, but for me, the greatest fulfillment is seeing grown adults completely entertained.”
The shows not only entertain but also serve an educational purpose.
Toni highlights, “The shows we put on are not only the thrill of a squirrel water skiing but it’s also for people to learn about water safety, rescuing/rehabilitation of squirrels, and that 100 per cent of donations we receive go back to squirrel rehabbers.”
A Legacy of Learning and Entertainment
Since the inception of Twiggy in 1979, a total of 11 squirrels have learned to water ski.
The idea to teach the first Twiggy to water-ski originated as a humorous quip by Mr. Best after he purchased a remote-controlled boat for his daughter.
As the squirrel’s talents gained attention, it led to appearances on television shows and public demand.
The Bests have seamlessly blended entertainment with a message of water safety, making a meaningful impact.
Continuing the Journey
The journey of Twiggy is one of resilience and dedication.
Despite challenges, the legacy has persevered.
The squirrel named Twiggy has traveled the world, even making appearances in films like Dodgeball and Anchorman.
This remarkable story showcases the power of human-animal bonds and the joy that can be shared through unique talents.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn