This week in squirrels May 5, 2014

 

I'm about to dive into the Sante Fe Science Writing Workshop, but I didn't want anyone to be squirrel deprived...so here goes this week's This Week in Squirrels

Dog goes crazy...over a squirrel

doggoescrazySquirrels don't just make people crazy...they've got an effect on dogs too. If you haven't seen this cute video of a dog making some interesting sounds when he spots a squirrel, check this out!

 

 

 

Like everything else, squirrel hunting is big in Texas

Squirrels used to be the most popular game animal in Texas, which has no "bag limit." But changes in the habitat have made gray "cat" squirrels more elusive, and since they are legally considered game animals, there is no management of squirrel habitat in the Lone Star state. Deer hunters dominate the land, squeezing out squirrel hunting. But there are still plenty of folks who want to nosh on skillet fried squirrel.

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They might be cute, but they're still wild animals

Why it's not a good idea to feed squirrels out of your hand

When I see people feeding squirrels from their hands, I often caution them - but people don't take me seriously! Squirrels might be cute, but their jaws are meant to crack open crazy tough nuts. Because their eyes are on the sides of their heads, their binocular field of vision in limited, meaning it might be hard for them to discriminate your fingers from that peanut.

Perhaps everyone should be forced to watch this video before they feed squirrels.

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Squirrel selfie leads to attack

selfieIt's a good idea to keep some distance from yourself and wild animals, but sometimes photo opportunities are hard to pass up. This guy learned the hard way.

 

 

Squirrels cause destruction across the country

Squirrels wreaked havoc on the Baylor campus in Texas. After a squirrel chewed through the wires of a transformer, power went out and fans overheated, setting off alarms throughout the campus.

One squirrel shuts down power for over 2200 after it was caught in a substation in Quincy, Massachusetts.

"Squirrel guards" can't stop a squirrel-related power outage in Cleveland, OH.

 

Why not? Squirrel found nesting in sheep

An orphaned baby squirrel was found "nesting" in the necks of pet sheep in Suffolk. Apparently the sheep didn't mind. Read more here.

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Controlling squirrels in the 21st century

Want to keep squirrels out of your birdfeeder? You and all other people who feed birds. Bill Adler Jr has updated his infamous book, "Outwitting Squirrels," providing some helpful tips to keep squirrels away such as "cry," suggesting that when it comes to humans vs. squirrels, the squirrels are usually going to come out on top. Read about the book here.

The war between birdfeeder and squirrel was beautifully documented in the film "Daylight Robbery 2." If you've never seen it, I highly recommend it!

 

 Squirrels and Pine Martens

Scientists got a surprise when camera traps set up to detect the presence of red squirrels were "photo-bombed" by the elusive and rare pine martin, which turns out, is not so rare after all.

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Lots of grey squirrels could mean lots of pine marten food -  pine martens' snacking on greys could inadvertently be helping the red squirrel make a comeback in the UK, where it's closely related competitor, the grey, has squeezed them out.

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In squirrel rescue news:

Should squirrels be kept as pets?

In general, I'd say, no, wild animals should not be pets. Fisheries and Wildlife in Maine (my former employer!) recently seized several koi, a flightless jay and a neutered squirrel from a woman's home. This woman claims to have rehabbed an injured squirrel, which she NEUTERED HERSELF? She also had various veterinary drugs in her home, and tried to get the squirrel registered as a therapy animal (note: squirrels are not eligible for such status). I need to bust out a squirrel pun at this point and I think she might be a NUT-CASE.

Orphaned red squirrel, Gary, gains a following...then passes

garyGary, a baby red squirrel, was found alone on the side of a road in Northern England. A wildlife ranger found him and brought him to his home for rehabilitation. Gary became a brief internet sensation in the UK before he sadly died on April 28th. Gary served as an ambassador for the plight of the endangered red squirrel, and will be missed.

 

 Man walks pet squirrel on a leash

Someone in Philly has a pet squirrel that has been trained to walk on a leash. What I'd like to know, is how the heck can someone keep a squirrel as a pet in Philadelphia?

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Squirrel as muse

Washington Post recently celebrated Squirrel Appreciation Week, and had children send in their squirrel art. I'm down.

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