I was really stoked to be interviewed by one of my fave bloggers (and awesome scientist herself) Felicity Muth, about cats, why they need food puzzles, and the future of feline science. You can read the interview here!
As promised, I'm back with the rest of the LATEST in squirrel news.
Squirrels and crime
Jon Barbour got in a dispute with his neighbor over feeding squirrels, which he claims help him stay in touch with his deceased parents (I reported the backstory here). He claims his neighbor tried to fight him, and then he shot his neighbor in the butt. Barbour must stand trial, charged with attempted second-degree murder and assault. Barbour since has pled not guilty, and the trial will begin in April of 2017.
Portland’s police chief shot a friend in the back while squirrel hunting, and tried to saw his friend shot himself. That didn’t go over so well with the friend, and now the chief is stepping down.
A couple went on vacation, and returned to find their home in a state of disarray. But it turns out the potential burglars loved…nuts. They “arrived back home to find papers and other items strewn about and bowls of nuts throughout the house completely emptied.” The squirrel was caught and set free.
Apparently, some squirrels enjoy hanging out with the police so much they will jump on their cars and pose for pictures. Maybe they like donuts?
Squirrels frequently interfere with forensic evidence…by chewing on bones? Yep, it’s true. “The damage rodents can cause and tooth marks they leave, sharp as knife strikes, can both confound and inform crime scene investigators.” These chew marks can make the bones hard to identify, or even obscure signs of trauma.
You can read the scientific article, The Taphonomic Effects of Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) Gnawing on Bone, published in the Journal of Forensic Identification, here.
An Irish community trying to prevent baby red squirrels from being squished by cars is despondent over the loss of two “Caution: Squirrel Crossing” signs. The theft is believed to be the act of pranksters.
How a squirrel saved a man
When the power company was called to a man’s house to resolve a squirrel-related power outage, it turns out that the man was unconscious in the road. The workers were able to use an automated external defibrillator and CPR to revive the man. The squirrel has been credited with saving the man's life.
A squirrel broke into a seed display at a Lowe’s store, having a snack, and then taking off before getting caught. Seeds were all over the place.
And a British squirrel broke into a butcher’s shop, helping himself to some sausage
No baby’s snacks are safe in the bottom of a stroller. This squirrel proves it.
Dead squirrel causes chaos
A principal had to call parents when a student showed up with a dead squirrel in his backpack. “Hilarity ensued” (for everyone but the squirrel). Turns out the kid wanted squirrel dumplings for dinner.
A squirrel scam in Dallas has targeted the elderly, with scammers claiming they will remove a squirrel from someone’s attic in exchange for large sums of money. The scammer returns with a dead squirrel (apparently not from the attic), and demands thousands of dollars.
Squirrels and sex?
A man who runs both a squirrel sanctuary and a sex club on the same property claims cops targeted him and shut the sanctuary down because of the sex club.
Nursing home attacks
Earlier this month, a nursing home was sent into chaos as a squirrel came in, biting and scratching several residents. The 911 call reveals the state of panic: “It’s still in there and the people are bleeding.” One victim was “bleeding a little uncontrollably.”And an injured woman said “I feel lightheaded. I don’t feel good.”
When the squirrel returned the next week, a staffer took matters into their own hands, and shot and killed the squirrel with a BB gun.
Squirrels helping themselves
Firefighters were called to save a squirrel hiding in a car’s wheel well, but the squirrel took off.
And a rescue mission was aborted when a squirrel saved himself. Folks called the fire department to report a squirrel stuck atop a telephone pole, but it turns out he was just chilling.
But this squirrel was happy to be saved from the dashboard of a car, where she had hidden behind the glove compartment.
And this squirrel was digging in the dumpster and got his head stuck. The squirrel was anesthetized and rubbed with lots of Vaseline and was eventually twisted out of the small opening in the dumpster.
It’s raining squirrels…hallelujah
More than 200 baby squirrels were blown from their nests during a storm in Virginia
A squirrel was literally stuck to a fence in Boulder, CO. Luckily the squirrel only suffered superficial injuries and was freed.
A pet squirrel caused a traffic jam in London by getting loose and consequently trapped in a vent under a passenger seat.
And this time a DOG needed rescuing…after chasing a squirrel and falling into the sewer.
A community divided
A squirrel named Cyril has caused controversy in a British housing development. Turns out some folks love Cyril and feed him nuts, and other folks resent Cyril entering their flats and digging up their plants to bury said nuts. Pest control was called to kill Cyril, but over 5000 people signed a petition to save him; the estate management firm agreed to let Cyril live.
This week in cute
A squirrel was confused by squirrel statue that had bread on it. I’d be confused too.
Squirrel meets cat AND a stuffed animal? Is that a cuteness overload?
This squirrel was busy playing with a stuffed animal, when the family cat jumps into the mix.
A baby squirrel and a bunny don’t seem to know what to think of each other. A lot of hopping ensues.
He wants IN
This squirrel could see the bowl of nuts inside; just open the window!
Welsh ravers put endangered squirrels at risk
I’ve always found ravers kind of annoying…this time they held a giant three day party with loud music right near a colony of red squirrels. Locals are worried that the loud music might have stressed out the endangered rodents.
A news reporter was filming a big horn ram when a ground squirrel made a brief appearance.
Another squirrel showed up in a couple’s engagement photoshoot.
Who let the nuts out?
Some campers in Canada brazenly left a container of nuts laying around. Perhaps the whisky impaired their judgement, as the nuts were an easy target for a local squirrel.
In 1918, Californians were sent on a mission: eradicating the ground squirrel. Even children were enlisted in this failed, $40,000 dollar project, that beckoned residents to “Kill the Squirrels.” What brought on this mass hysteria? Squirrels eating farmers’ crops.