What started out as a friendly joke, has grown to be a worldwide attraction.
Twiggy, the Water Skiing Squirrel is one of the attractions that’s performing throughout the week at the Queen City Exhibition.
Twiggy’s handler, Chuck Best Jr., says the history of the the water skiing squirrel dates back to 1978 when is father recieved an oprhan squirrel, who would become the family’s pet. Best says Twiggy’s act began after his father, Chuck Sr. bought a remote control boat for his older sister,and a family friend approached Best Sr. and asked him if he bought the boat for himself, Best Jr. says his dad wasn’t going to own up to playing with the boat, so he replied that he bought the boat for his pet squirrel. After actually getting the squirrel to waterski behind the remote control, Twiggy was soon featured in the local paper in Sanford, Florida ,which was later picked up by the Orlando Sentinel.
Best Jr. noted his mom, Lou Ann has been all world accompanying Twiggy. But after 39 years spent with the squirrels, she decided to retire, which lead to Best Jr. taking over the reins of the business. Twiggy has been featured on a couple of TV shows on Nickelodeon and many movies including Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Anchorman:The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
This week at the Queen City Exhibition, the 10th version of Twiggy is peforming in Regina. Best Jr, noted like all of her predecessors, Twiggy is a rescue animal, Best Jr. says they rescue about 15-20 squirrels a year, and eventually they are released into the wild. He added that he’s currently training the 11th edition of Twiggy that will eventually take over the performance.
Along with entertaining, Twiggy does provide some education. The water skiiing squirrel is the spokesanimal for the National Safe Boating Council, and Best Jr. says that began after a tragic accident. “When we first started Twiggy, it was suppose to be just for fun, it was a part time fun thing to do. My dad lost his life in a boating accident in 1997, and when he did, my mom wasn’t going to continue on, well everyone kept calling, saying hey we want to see Twiggy, well, she put a life jacket on the squirrel and continue on from there, and started promoting water safety, and when I took over, I called the National Safe Boating Council and now we’re the spokesanimal for water safety.
You can catch Twiggy performing three times a day at the Queen City Exhibition which wraps up on Sunday.