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September 25, 2003 5:05 AM   Subscribe

"My symbiotic relationship with squirrels is rather complex and multi-leveled, but I think I can sum it up in two main points: 1. I give them food; 2. They like food" says Jon, at his World o' Squirrels. Some people think squirrels are cute, others think there is more to them, while others still deem them ruthless killers.
posted by nthdegx (29 comments total)

 
Squirrels are evil. And they're organized. (I feel like the farmer from Chicken Run.)

I've had a couple of run ins with squirrel over the years, but the one I remember most happened while I was at University. I was walking home from the grocery store, and there was a cute little squirrel on the groun in front of me, chattering away. So I sort of chattered back at him. He chattered at me, I chattered at him, etc. This was all cute and went on for a minute or so, then I heard something behind me and turned around and there were 6 other squirrels advancing quietly behind me. I swear it was some kind of planned and organized attack. And I didn't even have anything in the bag but salad dressing and cheese!
posted by jacquilynne at 5:43 AM on September 25, 2003


disco squirrels (flash, muisic)
posted by madamjujujive at 6:18 AM on September 25, 2003


Squirrels are great!

Link to photo that I took this past Saturday in Boston's Public Garden.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:25 AM on September 25, 2003


That's just nuts...

This made me think of Tom Mann's Fishworld in Eufala, Alabama. There I saw a display of the most unusual stuffed squirrels dressed in little outfits. Sorry I couldn't find a picture, but apparently, it's not unique.
posted by jpburns at 6:26 AM on September 25, 2003


I had never paid much attention to squirrels, then we had three orphaned ones show up in our front yard a few weeks ago. We tried to ignore them until their mother came back, but she never did. Their cries were so pitiful. the squirrel-rehab.org site was very helpful in figuring out what to do about it. We ended up taking them to a local wildlife rescue place and gave them a generous donation.

They were cute little guys & gals though.
posted by jester69 at 6:32 AM on September 25, 2003


Since I hail from Longview, Washington, I feel obligated to post a link about the Nutty Narrows squirrel bridge in my hometown.

As someone on another site said, "the only interesting thing about Longview is that we have a squirrel bridge across the street from the library, so squirrels can safely cross the street without getting squashed by passing motorists."
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 9:08 AM on September 25, 2003


My parents are forever feeding the squirrels in their yard mixed nuts and such. Some of the critters have gotten quite tame and will crawl up the bricks along the side of the back door and scratch at the screen for attention. On another occasion, my dad was on a dolly, working underneath the car. A squirrel came underneath the car, got onto my dad's shoulder and poked at him. Dad went inside to get nuts, but we were out. He actually made the squirrel a peanut butter sandwich. (In all my days growing up in that house, I don't think my dad ever made me a sandwich.)
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:13 AM on September 25, 2003


haha. Thanks for those excellent links!

I love squirrels, i used to go and feed them in the ground of Nottingham university on my lunchbreak. I fed them raw peanuts unfortunately, so i've probably killed them all now. (http://www.gottshall.com/squirrels/fhtml04e.htm#0)

Anyone. They were so tame, and this ragged-looking one jumped on to me, and scratched a peanut out of my hand. It drew blood, and i thought it would give me rabies. I've never been back...

I've also just read on that site, rabies in squirrels is very rare, so that's a relief :)
posted by derbs at 9:21 AM on September 25, 2003


In Letchworth Garden City, where I live, there are black squirrels. Yesterday one had climbed the apple tree in the back garden, dislodged the bird feeder, and was eating the nuts on the ground. I tried to find a site about squirrels negotiating obstacle courses to get food, but didn't have any luck.
posted by nthdegx at 9:32 AM on September 25, 2003


Hey, if you like black squirrels...
posted by soyjoy at 10:19 AM on September 25, 2003


People, I cannot believe your ignorance. A squirrel is nothing more than a rat with long fur that likes climbing trees. Would you feed a rat? Would you want rats running around your yard, spreading disease?

Q: Why do people feed wild animals that are "cute?"
A: They are ignorant.

Feeding wild animals:
a) can cause sickness in the animals because of dietary problems
b) encourages begging, and harassing humans, often causing death to the animal for being where humans don't want it
c) may cause population explosions leading to disease, a weak gene pool, or mass starvation
d) rabies, rabies, rabies

If you want a cute animal, go get a teddy bear, or a teddy squirrel, if you have some sort of fetish. But with real animals, take some responsibility. They are not toys.
posted by zekinskia at 10:44 AM on September 25, 2003


Paul Krugman knows why black squirrels are black.

For all the aquirrel resources online, I have yet to find out how to keep the little fuckers out of the peanuts I leave out for the jays. Before this problem arose, I saw a squirrel proof bird feed that used capsicum, as birds can't taste the red peppers. My own research has shown that squirrels have a high tolerance for even African--eight times as hot as Indian--cayenne.
posted by y2karl at 10:47 AM on September 25, 2003


zekinskia, why do you hate squirrels so much?

Just kidding, but seriously folks, is there a valid argument for feeding wild animals because our continued population growth removes so much of their living (and feeding) habitat?
posted by tr33hggr at 11:07 AM on September 25, 2003


He's coming right at us!!!
posted by a3matrix at 11:13 AM on September 25, 2003


Anyone who thinks squirrels are cute and cuddly must simply adore Chipminks. I have dealt with an infestation of chipmunks before. War was declared, victory however was not achieved. Rather we reached a stalemate and settled on the 38th parallel as a common border.
posted by a3matrix at 11:15 AM on September 25, 2003


And let's not forget squirrel fishing
posted by starvingartist at 11:16 AM on September 25, 2003


Hehe - the penultimate picture on that page made me laugh, starvingartist.
posted by nthdegx at 11:24 AM on September 25, 2003


I've built a squirrel amusement park in my backyard that has become very popular with those little buggers. I have the Squirrel Bungee, the Tilt-a-Squirrel, and, my favorite, the Squirrel Elevator. The latter consists of 8 feet of bead chain run through a pulley mounted 10 feet off the ground; ears of corn are attached to each end. It's great to watch as they jump onto the corn at the top and ride it down--simultaneously lifting the other ear. Eventually they learn the necessary work-arounds. My next project is the Squirrel Catapult.
posted by ahimsakid at 11:34 AM on September 25, 2003


A friend of mine is a mailman in the Kenosha, Wisconsin, area...one day he was subbing for someone else, and encountered a cute little squirrel on the porch of a house. The squirrel eyed him as he placed the mail in the box, but as he turned to leave, the critter jumped up and latched onto my friend's leg. He started to climb up; it was warm weather and my friend was wearing shorts, the squirrel's claws were sharp and painful, and my pal started dancing around and stomping his feet in an effort to dislodge the l'il guy. Passing cars honked in appreciation, but no one stopped to assist. The squirrel finally lost interest and fled.

Turns out the regular carrier on that route always kept nuts in his mailbag and fed the squirrels on his route. This little guy must've been a disgruntled regular demanding his daily treat.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:18 PM on September 25, 2003


I have a baby squirrel in my house right now. Tomorrow morning he is going to wildlife rehab center. Such a pain to deal with the little orphan but what else can you do, leave him on a street to die?

*sigh*
posted by adzuki at 12:44 PM on September 25, 2003


Damn. If only I had time for "Troutfishing's World of Hawks Swooping Down and Seizing Squirrels"
posted by troutfishing at 12:44 PM on September 25, 2003


Hey adzuki, got a cat? Does your neighbor have a cat? Are there any stray cats around?

Save yourself the trip.
posted by zekinskia at 1:10 PM on September 25, 2003


zekinskia - Hey adzuki, got a cat? Does your neighbor have a cat? Are there any stray cats around?

Save yourself the trip.


zekinskia's user page - But hey, maybe if more people did more thinking we wouldn't be starving and bombing our fellow human beings, torturing and destroying animals and plants . . .

I repeat, zekinskia, why do you hate squirrels so much?

That's it for me folks, don't forget to catch my next show . . .
posted by tr33hggr at 1:51 PM on September 25, 2003


Welcome to the Outwitting Squirrels Society
posted by troutfishing at 2:51 PM on September 25, 2003


One of my secret dreams is to someday raise and train squirrels to sell as domestic pets. To me, they seem like tiny dogs with cute ears and fluffy tails.
posted by davidmsc at 3:55 PM on September 25, 2003


That's just nuts...

No kidding.
posted by Wet Spot at 6:04 PM on September 25, 2003


Meanwhile, in Moscow: Come Home, Little Squirrel: Parks Have Vacancies. Apparently the city's actively trying to breed squirrels, to add more character to its parks; when this was written (last November), Moscow had but 200. (I'm imagining New York park employees trying to do a squirrel census.) And the European red squirrel: those ears! (NYT, reg required, etc.)
posted by lisa g at 6:10 PM on September 25, 2003


"It's nice looking. It's not a hedgehog, which goes out at night..." (from lisa g's link )

So what's wrong with hedgehogs? They go out at night?
posted by troutfishing at 8:18 PM on September 25, 2003


I may be biased, but a squirrel is NOT just a rat with a fluffy tail. DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE! Consider the difference in body shape and locomotion. And the intelligence and personality differences are huge. Saying a squirrel is a but fluffy rat is like saying a human is but a shaved ape.

Well... bad example. But still!
posted by squirrel at 11:13 PM on September 25, 2003


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