This Week in Squirrels June 9, 2014

Squirrels and crime

A man was arrested for heroin possession after he was reported chasing squirrels with a stick in Boise, Idaho.

Police were called when a grey squirrel refused to get out of a woman's handbag in England. The police officer then committed a crime himself, when he released the invasive squirrel back into the wild (law requires that they should instead be "humanely dispatched").

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And in the pet squirrels are a bad idea column...a woman in Texas (oh Texas) was bitten by her neighbor's squirrel, B.B., needing stitches and antibiotics after the attack. Keeping a squirrel as a pet is actually not legal in Texas (at least not without some paperwork). The good news: squirrels don't typically carry rabies.

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The squirrels are too...tired?

Animal control officers in Arlington, VA received complaints of lethargic squirrels. One squirrel was sent to a wildlife rehab facility; the other was soggy from a rainstorm, and just need a little snack and some time on a heating pad before he was "bright and alert."

A third squirrel somehow ended up in a washing machine, and was treated for eye ulcers caused by being covered in laundry detergent. Read the animal control report here.


Power outages

Sadly, they usually mean a squirrel died. Vancouver, Boise (again?), Rome, WISmethport, PA,  Tallahassee, FL and Kalispell, MT suffered losses of both power and squirrels recently. The squirrel in Kalispell was referred to as suicidal, suggesting a lack of mental health support for squirrels in Montana.

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Unbelievable but true

A recent medical case study reported a man had a buckshot wound in his buttocks that contained...squirrel tissue? How does that happen? It involves a dead squirrel and bad judgement. Read more here.

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Daylight robbery

Watch a squirrel break into a "squirrel-proof feeder." Better luck next time, humans.

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In Wisconsin, a woman squirrel-proofed her bird feeder, only to find that she forgot to bear-proof it as well...

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Can people be convinced that squirrel is delicious?

One possible solution to invasive species is...eating them. A food stylist tries to make squirrel crostini sound good.

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Some fine writing about squirrels

I highly recommend reading this lovely article by Jamie Allen on spending time with squirrels, our connection with urban wildlife and the delicate balance of squirrels' life on the edge.

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Saving squirrels

Rajkumari Jones has just received an award from the Red Squirrel Survival Trust for her conservation work to help save the red squirrel in the UK.

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In perhaps this week's biggest squirrel story, a pool repairman in Phoenix saved a drowning ground squirrel with some creative CPR techniques.

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And in the science corner...

Genetic diversity in populations of grey squirrels aids them in invading new territory (and kicking out the poor red squirrel)...

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