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It's been a rough few months...I submitted two manuscript revisions (one of which has been accepted! Huzzah!)! I went to New York City to be a panelist at the Better with Pets Summit! And I'm madly preparing for my final experiment that I hope will lead to my receiving a PhD sooner rather than later.
But, until the graduate school tidal wave returns...it's time to find out what squirrels have been up to for the last two months (no surprise, they've been busy).
Squirrels’ Reign of Terror
Marin County on high alert
The biggest news of late is the report of EIGHT separate squirrel attacks in a neighborhood in Novato, CA. Some of the attacks occurred when a squirrel jumped from a tree onto its victim. The problem began a few weeks ago, when the squirrel entered a school, biting a teacher and a student before being chased out of the building.
More recently, a squirrel attacked an 87 year old man, giving him injuries on his hands and face. Because of the proximity of reports, and similar behaviors reported, animal control believes the same squirrel was involved in all of the incidents.
This weekend, police reported they believe the squirrel is dead, as attacks have ceased. Warning flyers have been posted in Novato just in case he is not.
Campus squirrels run amok
Duke students are afraid of the bold gray squirrels on campus. Quote: “I’m terrified of squirrels in general, so when a squirrel pops out of a trash can at me, it’s the worst thing ever.”
When a student in Missouri tried to rescue an injured squirrel, she ended up injured too - from a squirrel bite. Her boyfriend responded:
“My first thought was, ‘there is no way I am kissing you tonight incase you have rabies.”
The woman received antibiotics and was sent home.
Squirrels and other crime
Break in: A British red squirrel made himself comfortable at someone’s desk, perhaps he just needed to borrow a pen?
This squirrel tried to break into a trash bin with mixed results
When folks in Norwalk, CT were getting ready for the yearly holiday tree lighting, they noticed a problem: only a small portion of the lights worked. The cause: squirrels chewing wires. Squirrels also chewed several lights off the strands, possibly thinking they were nuts.
Shocking! A squirrel stealing from bird feeder. Call me jaded, but is this kind of story actually news?
Crimes against squirrels
A red squirrel was shot in Scotland, leading to an investigation to try to determine who shot the endangered rodent.
Squirrel rescue corner
One little guy was rescued after he got stuck in a fireplace in Broomfield, CO.
And this baby squirrel received eye surgery for glaucoma. She’s now one-eyed, but still will be released into the wild.
Police somewhere in Wisconsin had to assist a squirrel who was stuck in a birdfeeder.
Squirrel related power-outages happened in: a mall in Carmel, IN; Radcliff, KY; Jamestown, MI; Waynesville, MO; Lebanon, IN; Lafayette, IN (they were busy in Indiana!); Helena, MT; Gallatin, TN; Elmira, NY; Washington, DC; Middlebury, VT; and Saginaw County, MI.
12,000 people were left without power in Kokomo, IN; another 10,000 in Marina Del Ray, CA were affected by a squirrel-caused outage; and 9% of Ridgefield, CT was shut down by a squirrel electrocution; Classes were cancelled in Utica, NY due to a squirrel chewing on wires and causing a power outage. A squirrel ruined Thanksgiving in East Longmeadow, MA; another squirrel caused a grass fire in Polk County, AR, and a squirrel shut down the phones in Chicago, IL. Finally, a squirrel caused a minor explosion in Rutland, VT. The squirrel instigator did not survive in most cases.
It’s not just city rats who love pizza
Showing pizza rat that he’s not the only rodent that can scavenge human food, squirrels came back for milkshakes, and cinnamon rolls. Now they are moving into pizza rat’s territory…I give you “Pizza Squirrel.”
And if you celebrated Halloween this year by placing a pumpkin on your porch, it may have ended up a squirrel snack
Perhaps the squirrel even sat inside the pumpkin while it ate, as did this squirrel
Squirrel’s No Fool
This squirrel knows how to stay just out of reach of two Great Danes…
Unless it’s this squirrel
Squirrel jumps headfirst into window…
But what’s most disturbing is the laughter of the man who filmed it.
One man was “sprayed” with shotgun pellets while someone else was trying to shoot a squirrel.
And a man hunting a squirrel sent the entire place into lockdown, when someone called the police to report an armed man on the UNC Chapel Hill campus.
We interrupt this football game for this important message…
A squirrel made several appearances on the field during a Vikings and Packers game.
Can the gray squirrel be controlled?
The gray squirrel has long been blamed for the downfall of the red squirrel in the UK, due the the gray carrying squirrel pox, which kills red squirrels, but not grays. Anglesey, an island in the UK, was declared gray-free in 2013, due in large part to a culling program which involves “a blow to the back of the head. (presumably to the squirrel)” This doesn’t go over so well with all squirrel lovers, who want to end plans to expand the cull. The squirrel drama continues!
How did I miss the cats and squirrels count????
Olney, Illinois sounds like a home away from home. In October, citizens participated in a census of…cats and squirrels! It was chilly, but volunteers counted more gray squirrels, fewer fox squirrels, and more albino squirrels than in 2014. Fewer cats were counted outdoors than in 2014 as well. Contrary to the Brits, Olney is encouraging growth of its squirrel population, including planting more nut trees, increased human provisioning, and more “Squirrel Crossing” signs to prevent cars from squishing squirrels.