Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Squirrelly Neighbor News #1

Texas—A beloved albino squirrel has gone to gather nuts from that big tree in the sky, leaving thousands of University of North Texas students to mourn its passing.
In its two short years, the unnamed pure white creature with pink eyes brought luck to students who spotted it before exams, said graduate student T.J. Zambrano, 25, president of UNT’s Albino Squirrel Preservation Society. But misfortune frowned on the squirrel Aug. 21 when a hawk swooped down on it.
“The poor little guy stuck out like a sore thumb,” Zambrano said.
Students reminisced at a service near the Student Union Building, the squirrel’s favorite scampering spot, university officials said.
“Some students saw the hawk and tried to shoo it away, but it was too late,” Zambrano said. “Some animal control people took the body away.
“The squirrel wasn’t shy, and people constantly fed him. He had a good life.”
This is the second albino squirrel that has lived on campus, he said. The first, Thelonius, inspired the founding of the preservation society in 2002 and vanished in 2003.
“We can only hope Mother Nature will bring us another albino squirrel,” Zambrano said.

Furball Facts
If a squirrel has taken up residence in your attic or crawl space, the only practical way to deal with the issue is sell your house and not mention it to the new buyers.
A squirrel has sweaty feet. The sweat glands of a tree squirrel are located on their feet, between the foot pads and on their paws between the toes. When hot or excited a squirrel will change socks twice a day.
The male tree squirrel takes twice as long, as the female, to groom itself. They are so vane they will not show up at the bird feeder until every whisker is in place.
The most common type of squirrel bite is a result of feeding a squirrel by hand. Never hold the food between your fingers. Always balance food on your head and let the squirrel forage for it on his own. The worse thing that can happen is you will lose an ear.


It’s almost winter and squirrels are looking for a place to spend the winter. And it’s a whole lot warmer in a $250,000.00 house than up a tree.
Squirrels are the challenge of bird-feeding. But their incisor-edged impact ranges beyond sunflower seeds. The tree-climbing rodents chew into homes, storage buildings, insulation and electrical wires. Want to save energy—let a squirrel spend the winter in your attic. By spring, nothing will turn on or light up. It will reduce your electric bill to zero.
Squirrels can take real advantage of nut and fruit trees. At least deer are limited by how high they can reach. A furball can climb all the way to the top and to the very end of the branches.
The rule of thumb for relocation is a half-mile or more. Some squirrels have been moved around so much they have frequent flier miles.
George Seros of Marietta, Georgia decided he didn’t want to share any pecans with his squirrels. He live trapped several on his acreage and moved them all the same day. He was taking a weekend trip to the mountains around Helen, Georgia so he loaded his motorhome with his merry band of furballs. Before he even made it to the city limits the squirrels had escaped from the cage and it became obvious they did not like traveling. As it turned out one of his captives was a flying squirrel. They were bouncing off the motorhome walls like a set of live billiard balls on a bumper table.
George discovered the jail-break when a gray squirrel ran up his leg, across his face and exited his shoulder. That’s also when George put his motorhome in the median—sideways. He opened his driver door and three squirrels followed him out. The others were too confused. It took George as long to coax the rest of his squirrelly neighbors out of the motorhome as it did to explain the whole mess to the Georgia State trooper.

Attack Squirrels
First is was alligators attacking people in Florida and now a rash of squirrel attacks in Silcon Valley, California. Kids and parents are freaking out in Mountain View, as the squirrels in Cuesta Park go on the attack! Over the last three months, three people have been bitten by the aggressive rodents, which are becoming desperate for food after the installation of anti-squirrel trash cans in the park.
Jennifer Packard’s 4-year-old son was their latest victim. As she unwrapped a muffin during a picnic last week, a brown tree squirrel pounced on her son, Andrew, biting and scratching as he ran screaming through the park, then hanging on as he rolled desperately in the grass.
Andrew is undergoing rabies shots, and now tells everyone the squirrel was trying to eat him.

Squirrel Vandals
After many U.S. flags marking Veterans’ graves were disappearing from a cemetery in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, groundskeepers suspected vandals.
What they discovered were that the thieves were tiny and covered with fur. Groundskeepers thought kids were stealing them... but while one of the groundskeepers was mowing the grass, he noticed something red and blue high in the tree—it was a giant squirrel nest made of ripped and tattered flags. He thinks the squirrels conducted their operation at night or very early in the morning when no one was around.

Suicide squirrel in opera-hating kamikaze bike spoke mangle
HELSINKI (DNN)—A squirrel scampered into the bicycle wheel of an unlucky Finnish opera singer, causing him to fall, knock himself out and break his nose just ahead of the world premiere of a new opera.
Esa Ruuttunen was pedaling his way to the Helsinki Opera House last month when the squirrel ran into his spokes.
The singer ended up concussed and in a local hospital, rather than at his rehearsals for the Finnish opera Kaarmeen hetki (Hour of the Serpent), which opens on September 15.
“He is not yet singing in rehearsals, but thinks he will be able to perform at the world premiere,” Finnish National Opera spokeswoman Heidi Almi told Reuters.
The squirrel died in the accident.
I’m sure if the squirrel could sing loud and strong he would have gotten a bit more than a one sentence mention in this story.
The squirrel - apparently not an opera fan—ran headlong at the spokes. Alarmed, the bicycling bass baritone hit the skids.

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