This Week in Squirrels September 8, 2015

Squirrel Disruptions

Squirrel related power-outages were reported in Verona, WI, Eagle Mountain, UT (where the squirrel was “roasted”),  Windsor, Ontario (where the squirrel survived!), and Edmond, OK.

Regina, Canada, is taking action to protect squirrels from electrocution, installing “squirrel savers” to transformers, and consequently preventing future power outages. Turns out in West Liberty, IA, costs of power outage due to squirrel are running up towards half a million dollars, and with an insurance company refusing to pay, the city has to fork out another $5K for a consultant to research the claim.

And last year in Bryan and College Station, TX, squirrels caused over 300 power outages, leaving rodents responsible for around 30% of all power outages in the area.

To add to the mix, a squirrel started a brush fire in Camas, WA.

Squirrel season is here: Hunting and eating squirrels

Across the US, people are going nuts for squirrel hunting – squirrel season is here but so are the hunting accidents. One teenager in Indiana was shot by his 13-year-old cousin while squirrel hunting;

And a new website has launched -- Squirrels Unlimited –- the name sounds great but it’s not for fans of squirrels per se, but for fans of hunting squirrels

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You kill it, you grill it?

British writer George Monbiot stirred up controversy after mentioning to the press he had eaten a squirrel that had been hit by a car. So naturally, he was invited onto a cooking show to skin and cook (and eat) a squirrel.

Note: In Montana, it is already acceptable to eat your roadkill 

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While we're talking about eating squirrels, Little Rock, Arkansas will be having a squirrel cook-off soon (9/12), so get your recipes ready

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Squirrel rescue

While some folks are shooting squirrels, firefighters in Texas realized that their favorite station squirrel had not been coming around for her daily visits. She had been raising her babies in the siren tower, but when the firefighters found momma dead in the road, they knew they had to try to save her offspring!

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Cat Vs Squirrel

A cat tried to climb a telephone pole to catch a squirrel but eventually had to admit defeat.

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Mutilated Squirrels

In Ontario, Canada, someone has been leaving mutilated squirrels on peoples’ doorsteps, police have set up an anonymous tips line to try to get to the bottom of the case

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I vant to suck your blood?

First video of vampire squirrels, aka the Bornean tufted ground squirrel, rumored by locals to attack deer and drink their blood (note: there is no evidence for this)

Sports and squirrels

A football team is using the “dramatic squirrel” video on its jumbotron to distract the other team. On first use, it did not help, as the opposing team took the win.

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Well, baseball season is sadly winding down, but no worries for squirrels, there are other sports to interrupt. A squirrel caused a delay for the US Open when it ran out onto the courts during a match.

 

Theiving squirrels mimic bird calls

Squirrels are known for breaking into bird feeders to steal food, but now it turns out they are also “stealing” bird alarm calls. Scientists discovered that the rodents join in with birds (in a very similar sounding way) to alert other animals to predators.

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Fox vs Gray

eastvwestDo you know what kind of squirrels live where you live? The most common US species are the fox and the gray, similar in some ways (such as what they eat and many behaviors), but different in others (the fox is larger, more opportunistic, and better adapted for city life). This article outlines how the eastern fox squirrel is winning the west by being an opportunistic “trumped up rats”…

 

This week in cute

If you need a little cute today, check out a momma squirrel moving her babies. The news site claims she did so without waking them up, but their eyes might not be open yet (which happens at around five weeks of age in baby squirrels).

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