Squirrels Invade Stanford!!!!!
April 26, 2002 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Squirrels Invade Stanford!!!!! Ahhh Nuts.
Quote: The campus squirrels have apparently taken to bizarre suicidal death leaps into the path of oncoming student bikers. "It's really hard to even ride your bike on campus," said Katie Founds. "They're always leaping in front of you."
"They got into one of the residences, and they started typing on the keyboard," Shen said. "They ran over the person's laptop keyboard. They actually somehow renamed the person's hard drive."
posted by lheiskell (38 comments total)
haha, brought a chuckle. Squirrels here at UIUC are abundant, too. I've heard multiple stories of people throwing trash away, only to have a squirrel angrily pop out.
posted by hobbes at 11:37 AM on April 26, 2002

The reason why squirrels, despite their incredible agility, are such great sources of roadkill.
posted by groundhog at 11:38 AM on April 26, 2002

over at harvard they know how to handle this.
posted by quonsar at 11:38 AM on April 26, 2002

And so it begins.
posted by jackspot at 11:39 AM on April 26, 2002

better than monkeys

''[In Japan], sensational news reports about monkeys 'molesting women and children' have stirred police officers to form monkey posses, patrolling streets with nets and bananas tied to poles.''
-- The New York Times (April 12).

(link at nytimes has expired)
posted by m@L at 11:43 AM on April 26, 2002

posted by hobbes at 11:43 AM on April 26, 2002

The squirrells on the University of Wasington campus are also known to be very aggressive. Why, I remember one day when I stopped in the quad to chat with a friend.

As we talked, a squirrell approached. We both glanced at it and kept chatting, but the squirrell wanted more: it took a flying leap at me, and then, once hanging from my knee by its cute little hands, clung on like a leech as I shook my leg trying to detach it. It had to do the hokey pokey for a good 5-10 seconds before the squirrell released its grip.

It certainly wasn't scary or painful, but it was remarkable since I had no food on me anywhere. Maybe if I'd been holding a muffin or something it might've made sense....
posted by arielmeadow at 11:43 AM on April 26, 2002

About once a year at Pomona college, a squirrel would chew into a power cable. Little-known fact: an exploding squirrel generates a lot of energy.
posted by dws at 11:44 AM on April 26, 2002

he squirrell wanted more: it took a flying leap at me, and then, once hanging from my knee

maybe the squirrel had a knee fetish
posted by chrisroberts at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2002

here at uVa the squirrels are a little more stealth: they stay in the trees and hurl acorns at unsuspecting students.
posted by pinto at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2002

It had to do the hokey pokey for a good 5-10 seconds before the squirrell released its grip.

That should read I had to do the hokey pokey. The squirrell didn't dance. Although I wish it had.
posted by arielmeadow at 11:56 AM on April 26, 2002

I like how every one spells squirrel-squirrell-squirel different.
posted by corpse at 12:00 PM on April 26, 2002

posted by yhbc at 12:03 PM on April 26, 2002

The squirrels on the University of Wasington campus are also known to be very aggressive.

I can also attest to this. They hide in garbage cans and then emerge suddenly and unexpectedly, with great verve and ... poise? Once one head-butted my ankle.
I live my life in fear.
posted by j.edwards at 12:04 PM on April 26, 2002

Squirrels? Pshaw. We have groundhogs. Surly ones. Lots of them.

Squirrel = Alfred E. Newman
Groundhog = George "The Animal" Steele, but bigger
posted by NortonDC at 12:15 PM on April 26, 2002

I resemble that remark.
posted by groundhog at 12:27 PM on April 26, 2002

UCLA's squirrels have lost their fear of humans. I've seen them begging food from people eating outside--even taking food directly from people's hands.

The University of Chicago squirrels could also be fairly, ah, pugnacious, although they were usually most notable for falling into garbage cans. However, the upstate NY squirrels of my acquaintance have no particularly outstanding personality features; my cats, nevertheless, find them fairly entertaining.
posted by thomas j wise at 12:52 PM on April 26, 2002

Gotta represent for the furry gray boys at dear old Northwestern, who know how to get their way both in and out of a garbage can and can shake down a freshman just as well as an oak tree.
posted by briank at 12:57 PM on April 26, 2002

Kind of timely, given Fox will be airing When Animals Invade Your Hometonight (potential popups).
posted by rshah21 at 1:06 PM on April 26, 2002

Tufts University used to have this one albino squirrel living on campus who became a sort of unofficial mascot. We called him "The Albino Squirrel". Creative types, at Tufts.
posted by kahboom at 1:06 PM on April 26, 2002

I think this site explains it all.
posted by ltracey at 1:11 PM on April 26, 2002

Coming down from altitude towards the valley in Yosemite, I couldn't help but notice the expansion of the average tree rat as one got closer to the valley floor. At what was alleged to be an outdoor restaurant there were monumental squirrels menacing small children for slices of alleged pizza.

Of course, as one got lower into the valley the same effect could be noted in people, also. Even the menacing small children for pizza part.

Don't forget White Squirrel Wars, which involves a town just south of our service area. That site also includes Amazing Squirrel Stories, which starts off with the cheery;

"I have come face to face with a black squirrel with very bright blue eyes at dawn. I am considering getting a 22 and shooting this particular squirrel."
posted by dglynn at 1:26 PM on April 26, 2002

I was surprised how aggressive the squirrels were in Spain. I was having lunch in a park and a squirrel jumped onto the bench I was sitting on and tried to shanked the other half of my sandwich. I also had one climb up my leg trying to get food.
posted by jaden at 1:30 PM on April 26, 2002

Stanford got a 4+ at The Campus Squirrel Listings.
posted by gramcracker at 1:38 PM on April 26, 2002

I too can attest to the ferocious nature of Seattle area squirrels after one attempted to eat my face! (Fifth paragraph.)

According to Mr. Kindall, they're also bloody Twinkie thieves!
posted by Danelope at 1:40 PM on April 26, 2002

We suspect that the squirrels on our campus are related to the ones that escaped from NIMH. We also think they have built an underground city by stealing our electricity and internet bandwidth.
posted by samsara at 2:12 PM on April 26, 2002

Indeed. I was going to share that very story, Dan.

Instead I will mention that during my brief stint at Ohio State University, I used to see an albino squirrel every morning. All the gray squirrels would gang up on it and beat it up. I'm sure it never understood why.
posted by kindall at 2:16 PM on April 26, 2002

I thought I was alone in my struggles against the vicious Seattle squirrels. I spent the better part of Monday with a squirrel IN my apartment. He was very agressive and took several flying leaps at my cat. He also peed on a bookcase after ransacking the Picasso books (apparently he's also an art critic). I was most concerned, however, about our server as we've seen the squirrels in the back yard gnawing through live electrical cords. Perhaps a primitive form of shock therapy? I didn't want our website to crash because of the nut-hunting fiend, so I used a string grocery bag like a net and finally got him outside. Whew.

I didn't know until Monday that squirrel-wrestling can be an integral part of admin responsibilities....
posted by gutenberg at 2:22 PM on April 26, 2002

Stanford is home to the rare black squirrel. After years of inbreeding, they tend to attempt suicide by running under your bike wheels.

Scarrysquirrel also reports:
To: scarysquirrel@scarysquirrel.com
From: Michaela
Subject: Campus Alert!

I write to inform the world about the terrifying incidence of black squirrels cavorting about at Stanford University. Word is that long ago, Mrs. Jane Stanford became enamored with the black squirrels that are apparently native to Italy, and when it came time to build the hallowed Stanford U, she had a whole mess of 'em shipped in and let loose on campus to delight future generations. Unfortunately, in current times, the black squirrels appear to almost universally suffer from mange, and look like nothing so much as giant black rats.

However, stupidity may do in these squirrels before intervention becomes necessary. In the Stanford quad, there are several stands of palm trees that the squirrels adore, and I happened to be observing a group of squirrels jumping from one 40-foot tree to another when the inevitable happened. One of the black squirrels made a jump from the fronds of one palm to the other's, attempted to grab the new frond in a sort of bear (or rather squirrel) hug, and slid off the end of the frond. The hapless squirrel plummeted 40 feet to the ground, limbs flailing the entire way down. Shocked, I went over to inspect the damage, and upon discovering that the squirrel had apparently disappeared and thus was not dead or maimed, I concluded this was one of the funniest squirrel-involved incidents I had ever witnessed.
posted by zavyman at 3:53 PM on April 26, 2002

Feed the squirrels Prozac.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:58 PM on April 26, 2002

You may also want to read the article from the Stanford Report.
posted by bradlauster at 4:25 PM on April 26, 2002

Kent State University has black squirrels. They even have an festival to honor their special squirrels.
posted by sadie01221975 at 4:28 PM on April 26, 2002

It figures that this is Stanford, home of the Stanford band, the only college marching band ever (to my knowledge) to perform the Tubes classic "White Punks on Dope."

Also, the student body once upon a time started movements to change the campus mascot to Robber Barons or Trees. Some vortex of weirdness must inhabit the campus.
posted by diddlegnome at 5:21 PM on April 26, 2002

since i've been at the university of georgia, i've been charged by numerous insane squirrels. once on north campus (lots of trees and grass) i saw a chipmunk chase down a squirrel and steal it's acorn.
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 6:08 PM on April 26, 2002

You know you're having a bad day when a 23cm bicycle tire manages to contact a 18" Squirrel. And a slightly less bad day when you only get the tail.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:45 PM on April 26, 2002

I like meeting squirrels, but we don't have the surly gray bastards here. Ours are red and shy.
posted by pracowity at 3:12 AM on April 27, 2002

Finally -- a true squirrel thread! Now I can legitimately link to the picture that I found about somewhere about two years ago!

This picture is meant to demonstrate exactly HOW the squirrels are breeding so quickly. I don't understand the mechanics or biology involved, but it seems to be working for them...

posted by davidmsc at 7:18 AM on April 27, 2002

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