Tag Archives: red squirrels

Too smart to quit

A biology professor in Canada tells it like it is. Squirrels are just too smart for us to keep out of bird feeders. Although he tries.

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Speaking of birdfeeders, you say potato, I say...

Can you prove a bird feeder isn't a squirrel feeder? A woman in Canada was cited for "providing sustenance for squirrels." Since neither squirrel nor bird feeding is illegal where she lives, the question is whether she is attracting vermin through her "bird feeding" habits.

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The war on squirrels

Slate recently covered the 1918 "war on squirrels" where California children were enlisted to kill ground squirrels who were responsible for the destruction of millions of dollars worth of food crops. Children enthusiastically came forth with over 100,000 squirrel tails that were captured in a week, and crops made a brief recovery.

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And in North Carolina, people are going nuts for squirrels, but not in a good way: more people than ever are seeking "pest control" services for squirrels.

But squirrels fight back

Not to be deterred by these attempts at eradication, squirrels recently attacked children in a British park, where "In one instance a child was feeding a squirrel when six others ran out from a bush and bit his hand." Six squirrels at once??? Apparently medics had to spend three hours treating the wounds.

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The Chicago alderman who suffered an injury after a squirrel  jumped into his bicycle spokes is back on duty. The accident happened shortly after he implored the city council to fight the Chicogo squirrel problem. Upon his return, he repeated his plea to "ban squirrels," although he claims it was in jest.

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Police Blotter

In Wisconsin, a woman reported that "while her 10-year-old son was waiting for a bus, a man in a car threw a $5 bill at him" -- and in other news, a squirrel was trapped in a home, made a mess and died.

A teenager who broke into a home to steal guns was thwarted by the homeowner's pet squirrel, who startled the teen and "attacked" him.

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A man dodged hitting a squirrel while driving and lost control of his Jeep, hitting a utility pole, a street sign, a tree and a flag pole. The squirrel and driver were unharmed.

The ongoing attempted murder trial for a man who shot his neighbor in the buttocks last May has been postponed to June. The incident began with an argument over squirrel feeding. The accused has stated that he thinks feeding squirrels is a way for him to commune with his dead parents.

Squirrel rescue

Although squirrels are very self-sufficient, once in a while they need our help. A man in Omaha freed a squirrel who had gotten her head stuck in a cereal box.

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In Lowell, Michigan a family found a squirrel who had been impaled by a dart. Wildlife rescue was able to capture and treat the squirrel, who is expected to survive.

A Floridian squirrel got stuck between a sliding door and the screen for almost an hour. Another squirrel stopped by to see what the heck was going on. The squirrel was eventually freed without injury.

And New York's finest took a break from policing the streets to rescue a baby squirrel who was blown from his nest!

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While I'm not a fan of squirrels as pets, this Florida family is getting chemotherapy for their pet squirrel who has breast cancer.

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Squirrels and Food

A squirrel is either commuting between NY and Philly, or each town has yet ANOTHER pizza squirrel. Boston recently laid claim to its own pizza squirrel. In case you haven't guessed, squirrels enjoy pizza.

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In Canada, a squirrel and a crow disagreed on who was going to get that last slice of pizza.

Squirrels and Sports

Baseball season is here, and perhaps you've been wondering, what's the Rally Squirrel been up to? And will he predict this year's World Series Champion?

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Power Problems

Squirrel related power outages were reported in SeattleKetchum, ID, North Lakeland, FLTerre Haute, IN, Laureldale, Pa, East Duluth, MNOntario, Canada, Williams, AZ, and Morganton NC.

A squirrel "triggered" an electrical problem, leading a nightclub in Thailand to burn down. There was no indication of what exactly the squirrel did.

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In memoriam

Students in Houston raised funds to preserve a much-loved campus squirrel with unique markings.  The cause of death of the White Tailed Squirrel is unknown, but his taxidermied body will carry on his legacy forever.

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In Kansas, students held a memorial service for Ralphy, a campus squirrel who was found dead and "didn't deserve to die."

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Hunting corner

Squirrel: It’s what for dinner

The Missouri Department of Conservation recently posted a new video on making Squirrel Sausage. Start with fifteen squirrels...

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Representatives in Mississippi recently proposed extending the squirrel hunting season, to give dogs more time to work.

And the Holley Squirrel Slam, subject of a 2015 lawsuit that was tossed, has once again been targeted. The Fire Department of Holley, NY has been advised to seek legal council after a lawsuit was filed by a local squirrel supporter. The "Slam" offers cash and other prizes to folks who bag the most squirrels on Slam Day.

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An alternative to killing: sterilization via Nutella

Gray squirrels are causing problems for the red squirrels in the UK. But folks don't want to kill mass numbers of cute gray squirrels. The possible answer? Delivery of oral contraceptives to gray squirrels via Nutella.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Thieving squirrels

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.

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And a British squirrel broke into a butcher’s shop, helping himself to some sausage

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No baby’s snacks are safe in the bottom of a stroller. This squirrel proves it.

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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.

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Squirrel scam

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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Squirrel rescue

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.

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But this squirrel was happy to be saved from the dashboard of a car, where she had hidden behind the glove compartment.

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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

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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.

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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.

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This week in cute

A squirrel was confused by squirrel statue that had bread on it. I’d be confused too.

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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.

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A baby squirrel and a bunny don’t seem to know what to think of each other. A lot of hopping ensues.

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He wants IN

bowlofnutsThis squirrel could see the bowl of nuts inside; just open the window!

 

 

Welsh ravers put endangered squirrels at risk

raveI’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.

 

Photobombs

A news reporter was filming a big horn ram when a ground squirrel made a brief appearance.

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Another squirrel showed up in a couple’s engagement photoshoot.

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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.

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History corner

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.

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You can’t make this stuff up

sqshootIn Colorado, a dispute arose over whether a man should be feeding local squirrels. Folks in the community were apparently concerned about the fact that he was feeding peanuts to the squirrels, which could be problematic to local children with nut allergies. These concerned neighbors posted flyers, and at some point a tete a tete between the squirrel feeder (Jon Barbour) and a neighbor occurred. Things escalated, the men accused each other of being “white trash,” punches were thrown, and Barbour consequently shot the neighbor in the buttocks. He called police to turn himself in, was arrested, and now faces attempted murder charges, and from 8-32 years in prison.

But the story doesn’t end there. Barbour defended his squirrel feeding frenzy (apparently leaving “pounds of peanuts” out for our twitchy friends) by explaining that feeding squirrels was how he communed with the spirits of his dead parents. I’ll be following this case, as the preliminary trial happens on June 9th.

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If squirrels had body image issues…

They’d be in trouble because the hot topic on the internet these days is FAT SQUIRRELS. Folks, they need to store up for a long, lean time…let them get chubby!

Canada's got em...

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The UK's got them...

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Wales has em...

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And everyone's got something to say about it!

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Then shamed for not making a jump

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But it’s not just the chubby ones who have a problem!

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Urban snacking

Recently, the food habits of rodents have been all over the news. Urban animals are well adapted to living around humans in part because they are willing and able to eat our leftovers. Not to be outdone by Pizza Rat, rats’ rodent cousins, quickly made headlines for eating milkshakes and cinnamon rolls. Obviously squirrels have a sweet tooth,

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but some like tomatoes

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Power outages and other problems

Squirrel related power outages were reported in: Hutchinson, KS (800 people); Grand Rapids, MI (2000+ people); Somerset in the UK (1000 people); Spokane Valley, WA (2359 homes); and Frederick, MD (1900 homes). Squirrel also caused grass fires in Raymond, MS and Bryan, TX.

Squirrels and politics

Is that a squirrel on your head or are you just happy to see me? Bobby Jindal accuses Trump of looking like he has a squirrel on his head. Frankly, it’s a little insulting to squirrels.

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Squirrels and science

Virus discovery credited in part to squirrels

Scientists studying a seed that had apparently touched a squirrel’s nest found a new giant virus. Note: the original manuscript makes no references to squirrels, nests or seeds.

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Squirrels may need a matchmaker

Russian ground squirrels spend much of their year sleeping – and when they come out of hibernation, it’s time to mate. But apparently the squirrels are suffering from a lack of males to mate with, and the inability of those males who are around to connect with females. Time for a squirrel Tinder app?

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Endangered Red Squirrel

Once declared extinct, the red squirrel is present in the Mt. Graham area of Arizona, where researchers are currently tracking their numbers (approximately 300 individuals) and movements to better understand their behavior.

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Town gets excited about relocated squirrel statue

Folks in Olean, NY have a new 14-foot high fiberglass squirrel living in their park, one of thirty around the town.

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Dead Squirrels

Eating squirrels

I admit, I gagged a little at some of the pictures from the recent Squirrel Cook Off.

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Dog with dead squirrel

Why? I don’t know.

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Baby squirrel rescued from fire in North Carolina

A baby squirrel had been sleeping in the attack of a home that caught fire in North Carolina. As he ran out of the burning house, firefighters gave him a few hits of oxygen before sending him on his way into the wild.

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Brits once again obsessed with squirrel nuts

Yes, animals have genitals. Why this is supposed to be a source of embarrassment I’m not sure.

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Hunting accidents

A 43 year old man near “Coon Valley,” WI was shot in the shoulder by his hunting buddy while seeking out squirrels. They didn’t report on whether they bagged any squirrels before the accident.

In NY, a man was shot in the face after another hunter missed his target (a squirrel). Oops. The injuries were not life-threatening.

…and a man in Indiana shot himself in the leg while hunting squirrels.

You gotta fight for your right…to feed squirrels?

A Canadian man had received several citations for feeding squirrels. The cops even had him placed under surveillance to stop him from offering handout to local wildlife. In response, he took his claims of privacy violations all the way to the Supreme Court. He did not win.

Stuck squirrels

Squirrel stuck in gift shop

Locals expressed concern for “at least one squirrel” running around inside a gift shop in Seattle. The shop owners placed a trap in hopes of catching and releasing the squirrel.

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Squirrels stuck in trap

A Wisconsin police log reports calls of complaints after someone trapping squirrels didn’t notice that two squirrels were in the same trap…and fighting each other.

Take two pills and call me...

biteI got bitten by a squirrel eight and a half years ago. It was a very expensive bandaid. Since then, medical codes have become more specific, including one just for squirrel bites. Note: there are also now codes for orca bites and spacecraft accidents.

 

 

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Human Vs. Squirrel: It’s a Never Ending Battle

Squirrels can get into enough trouble on their own, but somehow, involve a human, and someone is going to get hurt (usually the human)

Someone made the mistake of offering his hand to a squirrel in the Grand Canyon. The squirrel bites him. Then a bunch of other tourists try to pet the same squirrel. Just sayin.’

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This man went to claim his bicycle, only to find a squirrel with the same idea in mind. The squirrel made a go for his GoPro, too.

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And for the second time in a few weeks, a squirrel has “gone wild” in the NY subway system. They must know I'm headed there.

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It's been over a month since I updated you on squirrel news, and it appears that squirrels have been very busy since then.

Squirrel Damages

The historical Derby Summer House in Massachussetts is in critical state, due to damage ccaused by squirrel chewing. Subsequent water damage and squirrel poo equals over $200K in repairs needed to be done.

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Squirrels also seem to like a Nebraska City building that houses the passport office and juvenile services. Nests and squirrel poo were found above the ceilings throughout the building, leading to a major cleanup and remodel.

A house fire near Chicago was caused by a burning squirrel nest in the attic: was the squirrel drunk and smoking in the nest?

A driver swerved to avoid a cat chasing a squirrel and hit a fire hydrant. No word on if the cat or squirrel were okay.

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People were not so lucky in Florida, where a squirrel caused four car pile-up and a death, after a driver stopped in traffic to avoid hitting the rodent.

Squirrel-related deaths in history: 60 years ago a boy was killed by squirrel poison on a Northern California island.

Adding to the list of diseases that squirrels may carry (such as West Nile and the Plague…) squirrels have now been identified as carriers of Lyme disease. And this is just one reason you should not pet wild squirrels!

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3 Comments

It's been a while since I've updated you on the latest squirrel news, and there's a lot to say!

How did this squirrel get on a plane?

customsA stowaway on a flight from Costa Rica, this baby squirrel was turned over to US Fish & Wildlife. What happens to foreign squirrels? This one is going to be rehomed by the Houston Zoo.

 

 

 

 

 

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When a squirrel enters your house and eats your fig newtons, what to do?

This article recounts one woman’s experience of a squirrel breaking into her home, turning on the water, eating her fig newtons, and then taking a nap in her bed. Moral of the story: don’t panic, call animal control, then find a way to keep them from coming back in!

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Dead Squirrels

A shockwave was sent through Britain when a man “photo-bombed” a news report, walking past with a dead squirrel.

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Later it was revealed that the squirrel is part of an upcoming comedy program, featuring comedian Kim Noble. I have to admit I’ve never heard of him, perhaps he is hoping the squirrel will give him his lucky break.

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