Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kamikaze Squirrel

Squirrels: they're coming to get you!

A County Courthouse in Sevier County, Arkansas was the latest site to fall victim the the Squirrel Menace on Sunday, when its electrical power was disrupted by a suicide squirrel which took out the courthouse transformer.

County judge Dick Tallman described the squirrel as a 'kamikaze rodent', reports the Texarkana Gazette.

The squirrel caused a short circuit in the transformer after stepping on it, causing an explosion and a loud bang.

Fortunately, in this case, the squirrel's plot did not fully work, as the courthouse only suffered a slight loss of electricity. The squirrel was eventually removed from the transformer by workers from the local power company, according to Tallman.

'We haven't found any damage. The dispatcher said the computers have been acting funny with the monitors flickering. I don't think it's going to cause a problem unless the flickering makes the dispatcher dizzy and she has a seizure, falls out and hits her forehead on the desk,' he added.

Russian squirrel pack 'kills dog'

Russian squirrel pack 'kills dog'
Black squirrel (archive)
Local people suggest hunger is driving squirrels to extremes
Squirrels have bitten to death a stray dog which was barking at them in a Russian park, local media report.

Passers-by were too late to stop the attack by the black squirrels in a village in the far east, which reportedly lasted about a minute.

They are said to have scampered off at the sight of humans, some carrying pieces of flesh.

A pine cone shortage may have led the squirrels to seek other food sources, although scientists are sceptical.

The attack was reported in parkland in the centre of Lazo, a village in the Maritime Territory, and was witnessed by three local people.

A "big" stray dog was nosing about the trees and barking at squirrels hiding in branches overhead when a number of them suddenly descended and attacked, reports say.

"They literally gutted the dog," local journalist Anastasia Trubitsina told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

"When they saw the men, they scattered in different directions, taking pieces of their kill away with them."

Mikhail Tiyunov, a scientist in the region, said it was the first he had ever heard of such an attack.

While squirrels without sources of protein might attack birds' nests, he said, the idea of them chewing a dog to death was "absurd".

"If it really happened, things must be pretty bad in our forests," he added.

Komosmolskaya Pravda notes that in a previous incident this autumn chipmunks terrorised cats in a part of the territory.

A Lazo man who called himself only Mikhalich said there had been "no pine cones at all" in the local forests this year.

"The little beasts are agitated because they have nothing to eat," he added.

Squirrels go nuts on crack

Squirrels ... digging up stashes

Squirrels ... digging up stashes


SQUIRRELS are getting hooked on crack cocaine — hidden by addicts in gardens.

They are digging up the stashes and eating the mega-addictive drug, which comes in small chunks.

Several have been spotted behaving bizarrely in Brixton, South London, since a police blitz against pushers and users.

One resident said: “My neighbour said dealers had used my garden to hide crack.

“Just an hour earlier I’d seen a squirrel digging in the flower-beds.

“It was ill-looking and its eyes looked bloodshot, but it kept on desperately digging. It seems a strange thing to say, but it seemed to know what it was looking for.”

Other residents have seen squirrels become unusually aggressive.

The RSPCA said: “These animals are big foragers. They are attracted by smell and will dig up what they fancy.

“If a squirrel did open a bag of crack and start consuming it there is no doubt it would die pretty quickly.”

Crack squirrels are a recognised problem in America. They are common in parks used by addicts in New York and Washington DC.

They have been known to attack park visitors in their search for a fix.

Sticky situation for squirrel

DALLAS -- Nuts can be fattening. But this little, or rather large, squirrel had to learn the hard way.

Most people who deal with wildlife know that animals usually have a good sense of what nooks and crannies they can fit through. So it seemed a bit odd when the caller to 911 Wildlife, a business that specializes in humane wildlife evictions, kept insisting that a squirrel was stuck in a tree on Sunday, said the company’s owner, Bonnie Bradshaw.

When Ms. Bradshaw dispatched senior wildlife technician Joe Warner to the scene in the 1700 block of East Elmore Avenue in East Oak Cliff, he expected to find a squirrel sitting in a hole with “its head poking out, watching the goofy people.”

Mr. Warner, who has been with the company for about a year, said he responds to squirrel calls on an almost daily basis. But no description had been this bizarre.

Sure enough, there was the squirrel, or half of a squirrel, with its bushy tail and hind legs poking from a hole about 8 feet off the ground.

Mr. Warner got a ladder and a handsaw and began to work. For the next 45 minutes, he carefully sawed around the squirrel, picking away at the tree to create enough room to ease out the critter.

Within seconds of gaining freedom, the squirrel quickly jumped back on the tree and scurried away.

So how did the squirrel get stuck? Too many nuts? Mr. Warner’s theory: the squirrel was pregnant. `

Whatever the cause, he now has a posterior shot for posterity.

Thursday, February 15, 2007



HONOLULU, Hawaii (AP) -- An American Airlines flight made an unscheduled landing after pilots heard something skittering about in the wire-laden space over the cockpit.

The airline blamed the emergency landing of the Tokyo-Dallas flight with 202 passengers on a stowaway squirrel.

"You do not want a varmint up in the wiring areas and what-have-you on an airplane. You don't want anything up there," said John Hotard, spokesman for the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline.

He said pilots feared the animal would chew through wiring or cause other problems.

"So, as a precaution, we diverted," Hotard said.

Once on the ground late Friday, the Boeing 777's human passengers were put up in hotel rooms and later rebooked on other flights.

State and federal agriculture and wildlife officials boarded the plane, set traps and captured the eastern gray squirrel.

Hotard said the plane had flown to Tokyo from New York before the Dallas flight.

Honolulu, however, proved to be the squirrel's final destination. Fearing it might have been carrying rabies, authorities had the rodent killed.