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Austin woman starts yearbook about UT squirrels

"Squirrels of UT" is expected out sometime in June.

AUSTIN, Texas — Twenty-one-year-old Marie Romano may have a slight obsession. She loves squirrels.

The graphic designer knows everything about them. She knows what noises to make to call them.

"So they'll respond to this little tongue clacking," she explained as she also showed me.

It worked as Berry, a female squirrel, made her way to Romano for peanuts.

RELATED: Georgetown man saves family of squirrels from long, hungry rat snake

KVUE met Romano on the University of Texas campus, just outside the Gregory Gym, a favorite spot for Romano because it's a favorite spot for friendly squirrels like Berry, a momma squirrel.

Romano said she named Berry after their first meeting.

"She had a bunch of stained berries on her face," she said.

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Romano's love for squirrels began when she attended UT in 2014. She noticed them during lunch and started naming them, which, at times, proved challenging.

"There's actually two Sunflowers and I didn't realize this until seeing them this many times, and I don't want to give up either of their names. There's Sunflower 1 and there's Sunflower 2," Romano said.

When she started sharing the squirrel pictures online, everyone else started loving them too.

"That's how it all started. People really responded positively to it. Oh I love this," she said.

RELATED: These photos of giant, multi-colored squirrels are stunning

Romano took it one step further, designing a yearbook called "Squirrels of UT."

"It just so happens that Marie is a Squirrel whisper."

Alex Carroll calls his girlfriend the Squirrel Whisperer. He remembers when she came up with the yearbook idea.

"I think Marie goes, 'I have it. I want to make a yearbook. I want to make a yearbook about the squirrels.' 'What are you talking about?'" Carroll said and laughed.

The yearbook has more than 200 UT squirrels, all with caps and gowns on.

There's a salutatorian named Arty, which means there's a valedictorian. Her name is Elle and her major is philosophy.

RELATED: Going nutty: UT Austin graduate creates yearbook of campus squirrels

"Because it's a yearbook, I wanted to make it as much as an actual yearbook as possible so I made squirrel classes like acornology. There's tree-climbing; there's geology, gardening," Romano said.

The yearbook isn't finished yet. Edit notes on different colored Post-it notes fill the book.

RELATED: Viral image captures Texas squirrel eating snake

It's coming out in June, reminding current and former students of the furry little critters of our times on the UT campus.

The yearbook costs $25. You can order it on SquirrelsofUT.com.


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