A special map of squirrel feeding sites is available at VDNkh. The map shows 18 addresses where feeders for squirrels are located. In winter, it is harder for them to find food. To make it easier for squirrels to survive the cold, exhibition visitors can leave them treats in small wooden houses that measure up to1,5 metres high. At the top of each is a feeder, where people can pour in cedar nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds and wheat breadcrumbs.
“Feeders can be found near the Central Alley, as well as near the House of Culture (Pavilion No. 84), the Physics Pavilion (No. 5) and the 3rd Kamensky Pond in the dam area of the exhibition. The rest are in Ostankino Park. The animals can be seen on trees near the main path of the park, where feeders are located. By feeding squirrels, visitors help them survive the winter,” the VDNKh press service said.
The press service added that not all foods people eat are fit for squirrels. Treats should be similar to the natural diet of rodents. That is, they should not be salty or sweet and should not contain aromatic or flavouring additives. Also, do not offer the animals almonds or exotic fruit.
When feeding squirrels, do not forget that these are wild animals with sharp teeth. They can carry a number of diseases that are dangerous to humans, so do not feed them out of your hands. If you are bitten or scratched by a squirrel, you should see a doctor.
Exhibition staff will also put food into the feeders.
In total, hundreds of ordinary squirrels live in the forest and park zones of VDNKh. Squirrels are slightly over 30 cm long. In the cold season, their fur is fluffy and dense, and in summer, it is shorter and thinner. In summer, squirrels are mostly red, and in winter, they have a bluish-grey tint.
In addition to squirrels, more than 70 species of birds plus waterfowl live in Ostankino Park and VDNKh in summer. There you can find seven species of woodpeckers (lesser spotted, middle spotted, greater spotted, white-backed, green, grey-headed and black woodpeckers), two species of hawks (goshawk and sparrowhawk) and four species of owls (tawny, Ural, long-eared and pygmy owls, the smallest in the owl family). Almost all of these birds are listed in the Red Data Book of Moscow as rare, vulnerable and endangered.
VDNKh is the largest exhibition, museum and recreational complex in Russia and in the world. The exhibition merged with Ostankino Park, and together they cover over 317 hectares: 235.5 hectares are occupied by VDNKh and 81.5 hectares belong to Ostankino Park. The grounds are home to many architectural monuments - 49 sites are recognised as monuments of cultural heritage. A large-scale revival of VDNKh began in 2014. Since then, 11 cultural heritage sites have been restored.