Brian Genest uses his phone to take a photo of himself with an agreeable squirrel. Then . . . (Brian Genest/Via Associated Press)

A photo op with a squirrel that went bad has left a teenager flustered but unhurt.

Seventeen-year-old Brian Genest of Auburn, Maine, said last week that he saw what appeared to be a friendly squirrel on a handrail in John Chestnut Park near Tampa, Florida. He was on a trip looking at colleges.

Brian took a selfie with the squirrel. But the flash and noises from his phone camera scared the squirrel, which climbed under his shirt and hung onto his back before scampering out.

“He was just in that spot where my arm can’t reach him,” Brian said. “I threw myself on the ground, and that scared him off.”

Genest’s mother, Paula Wright, snapped photos of the hoopla, which Brian posted on Instagram.

Wright said the spectacle Saturday taught Brian a lesson.

“I think he got a little lesson from the squirrel that he’s not really its buddy,” she said.

She said neither her son nor the squirrel was harmed.

Associated Press