Deadly Pox Discovered Among Threatened Welsh Red Squirrels

Squirrel lovers in the U.K. have been rightly upset for the past few years, as grey squirrels from the U.S. have started to push out the native red squirrels, which are smaller, cuter and generally more loved among Brits (Squirrel Nutkin being a favorite storybook character).

Now the news of a deadly pox virus — of course, from the greys — is setting off more alarms.

Charles Dutton of the European Squirrel Initiative, said, “This outbreak once again highlights the continuing threat posed to red squirrels by the invasive North American grey squirrel. The squirrel pox virus is carried by grey squirrels, which are immune to the disease. However once a red squirrel picks up the virus, the animal will die within two weeks.”

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