Are Squirrels Really Pests?

Grey squirrels have entertained children and adults alike with their antics in the garden. They can get to the bird feeding tables regardless of protection, and are often seen dangling upside down from peanut containers. They can glide from overhanging tree branches, climb the thinnest of poles and traverse the washing line like a latter day Houdini. We sit and watch their exploits with quiet appreciation.

A man from Burton on Trent in England has been ordered to pay more than £1500 after he shocked the court, and the RSPCA, by confessing to the drowning of a grey squirrel. Getting rid of pests is now a criminal offence. This seems odd as they are basically rats with bushy tails!! He clearly thought he was putting the case against the squirrel, although I agree with the judge in this case that drowning was an uncalled for level of suffering for the poor animal.

So, vermin or houdini? Pest or pet? Garden wonder or bird food stealer? What do you think?

Finally, think on this:
Red squirrels have been native to England since the last Ice Age, although the grey has chased them from all but the smallest corners of the country. We are the incomers, the pests.
Maybe the squirrels see it this way? Who knows!!

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