According to the Telegraph, nurses who work in rural areas in the U.K. are under assault by squirrels, and are now being instructed to “walk in pairs” to avoid violent confrontations and to “make loud noises” to scare them off. (When has that ever worked?)
“One district nurse was left with “reddening of the scalp” after being attacked.
In her “squirrel attack report” she wrote: “On walking up farm access I was jumped upon by a squirrel. Then another landed on my head.” She rated the “severity of incident” as “insignificant to catastrophic”.
That’s quite a big range, no? Insignificant to catastrophic?
The article ends with an equally puzzling sentence:
“Last year, inventor Mike Madden suffered whiplash after a squirrel leapt on him as he tested a head-mounted bird feeding try in Huddersfield.”
(He put a bird feeder on his head? This is like holding out a bloody steak in your hand and then blaming a dog for biting you.)
Is this not a terrific photo of a pissed-off ground squirrel? This is a Richardson’s Ground Squirrel.
From: Flickr user Buglug.
The Washington City Paper blog has an intriguing article on the emerging presence of black squirrels in the U.K.
For those of you that have never seen them, black squirrels look just like greys, but are darker and have silkier hair. I think they’re prettier, and I’d been told that they were simply a genetic variant – much like the many hues of kittens that can be found in just one litter.
Apparently, however, it appears that the British press — already worried about the decimation of the local, indigenous red squirrel population (the original Squirrel Nutkin was a red squirrel) — is now fussing over the emergence of black squirrels, blaming the black squirrels as being more “testosterone-charged… fitter, faster and more fiercely competitive than both reds or greys.”
Also: “Sex selection is also boosting their numbers because female greys appear to prefer them as mates.”
Yes, I’m starting to giggle now.
The City Paper‘s criticism: “The Black Squirrel Heads to England, Inspires Subtly Racist Science Reporting”
and the U.K. Daily Mail article that is mentioned: “The pack of mutant black squirrels that are giving Britain’s grey population a taste of their own medicine“
I recently posted about a college student in Indiana who finds great pleasure and solace in watching squirrels.
Today I bring you the opposite: Four narratives from Washington University (in St. Louis) students who had awkward encounters with squirrels. The students show no mercy, calling them “fat rodents,” “pretty disgusting,” saying they ” have rabies,” and even resulted in “the most embarrassing moment of my life” for one young lady.
One student (not the embarrassed one) had a squirrel land on her face as she was touring campus as a high school senior. Now that’s embarrassing. I totally understand that. The other young lady merely ended up sounding like she has been overly sheltered thus far.
But I’ll let you be the judge now: Here’s the story.
For a while now, Dave Barry has been following the antics of squirrels on his blog. He labels them something like SQUIRREL TERRORISM UPDATES.
Most recently, he links to a news story about some very dumb squirrels in Wisconsin, who, instead of hibernating, are ruining the Christmas cheer for the poor residents of Milwaukee, who, by god, deserve a little illumination this time of year. What are the squirrels doing? Yep, making a meal out of the lights. And then zapping themselves silly. (Chewing through the rubber to get to the electrical charge — no makey sense. Why do squirrels do dumb shit like this?)
Although fersure squirrels can be a pesky menace, when you read the original story, it becomes apparent why the town is struggling with the squirrels:
“The deer repellent didn’t work on squirrels,” said worker Dave McKeithan.
Wow, this is a really sad squirrel story — a squirrel in Florida jumps onto the face of a toddler, and won’t let go. In the process, the boy’s rescuers are injured, too. This poor child is going to develop a terrible fear of squirrels, I’m sure.
According to the news article, “3-year-old Kevin was bitten 9 times in the attack, the trooper was treated at a local medical facility for his injuries, and another adult was also wounded in the attack – from which the squirrel escaped unharmed.”
Like some of the readers, I too wonder if this squirrel has rabies?