Friday, December 02, 2005


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.


1012jlsamm said...

My husband was telling me about this. Pretty scary. These squirrels are supposed to be quite a bit larger than the one we have here in MN. I wonder how much bigger.

Rhianna said...

I'm a little afraid of squirrels actually. They look like rats, only cuter with big fluffy tales. New York squirrels are big, well fed & have over-populated the state in general. Once I was in a park eating a chocolate chip cookie from a package of three & a squirrel did a cute trick: he stood on his hind legs, lifted his hands in the air & spun around. Now that's a well trained squirrel but I'll be a monkey's uncle before I give up one of my chocolate chip cookies.