This Week in Squirrels October 20, 2014

Once again, there is so much squirrel activity around the globe!

 Power outages

Squirrels shut off the power to over a thousand folks in Toledo, and left people with nine hours of no power in Luverne and Rutledge, Alabama. A squirrel was electrocuted and caused an “electrical smell” in Grand Haven, Minnesota, shutting off power at the local post office.

Finally, a squirrel in Rancho Cordova in California caused a fuse to blow that burst a gas line, causing not only a power outage but also a school cancellation. “The squirrel did not survive.”

Please don’t feed the squirrels

Berkeley is cracking down on its ordinance prohibiting the feeding of wild animals in state parks. This was proposed as an alternative to mass culling of ground squirrels in the Berkeley Marina, whose burrows may be leaching toxins into groundwater. Feed a squirrel? You  may be fined $100.

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Please do eat the squirrels

A contest for the best squirrel burger has caused controversy among vegetarians, animal rights activists and squirrel lovers alike. The grey squirrel is a pest in the UK, and now people are suggesting eating them to reduce their numbers. Would you give a squirrel burger a try?

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Bizarre biking accident kills squirrel, hurts human

A squirrel gave a man a concussion and minor facial fractures. It wasn’t a fight – the squirrel somehow ran into a racing cyclist and got caught in his front bike tire, jamming the bike and sending the man flying over the handle bars. The squirrel was sadly killed in the incident (note: graphic photo of dead squirrel).

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Squirrel loves clothespins

clothespinsThis couple can’t keep their laundry hanging on their clothesline as a local squirrel keeps stealing their clothespins, presumably to build her nest.

 

Squirrel shortage

Is Arlington, Virginia really seeing a decrease in its squirrel population? Local experts suggest that last year’s weak acorn crop could be to blame, but also note that like most rodents, squirrel populations are capable of a quick rebound in good years, so there’s no need to panic yet.

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Have you met…?

blsqThe giant black squirrel – one of the largest squirrel species on the planet, is native to Southeast Asia. They can be up to 110 cm long including their tail (that’s almost 4 feet long for us savages who haven't gone metric).

Squirrel meets panda...

We’ve seen panda bears startled by sneezing, but in this case, both a squirrel AND a panda are in for a big surprise when the squirrel climbs onto the panda at the Toronto Zoo.

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...and a dog

Pamela Gwyn Kipke explores the relationship between dog and squirrel, as a squirrel must fight for her life when cornered by Kipke’s dog.

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 Campus squirrels

Many university campuses have infamous squirrel populations. Students at the University of Virginia share some of their encounters with the rascally rodents, and historian Etienne Benson addresses just why they are often so aggressive.

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Squirrels love tulips?

One park has resorted to using “blood meal” to cover its planted tulip bulbs; apparently tulip bulbs are a favorite squirrel snack. Apparently the scent of cattle blood is enough to deter squirrels from digging.

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How to catch a squirrel?

Mimic their call, and they will supposedly come out of hiding. A hunter’s guide to squirrel calls.

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Bringing up baby

babyIt seems like there is no shortage of baby squirrel stories on the internet. This little fellow “Zip” will be released to the wild once he is ready. For now, cuteness and squee!

Conservation Corner

Prince Charles hates squirrels

Turns out grey squirrels aren’t just bad for red squirrels in the UK, the greys are also destroying record numbers of oak trees (ironically, a main food source for squirrels). Prince Charles has declared war on the wascally wodents, and is ordering a massive culling on his properties.

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Red squirrel recovery

Meanwhile, red squirrels are being bred and released from the Belfast Zoo in an attempt to save the cute beasts from extinction (which is mainly due to competition from grey squirrels).

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