I Don’t Want Your Squirrels

A Black Eastern Grey Squirrel – an introduced species.

Really – I don’t want your squirrels. They are your problem. If you don’t want them at your place, why do you think I want them at mine?

Do you think you are being humane by transporting them out to the country to release them? Well, you aren’t. You’ve just signed their death certificate, but you are too ‘sensitive’ to kill them yourself.
– You’ve removed the squirrel from a home range where it knew how to find food, water, shelter, and how to stay safe.
– You may have trapped a mother squirrel – her babies will be left behind to die.
– You’ve spread a non-native introduced animal into yet another habitat where it doesn’t belong.

In the past week you’ve brought me two squirrels- a brown Eastern Grey Squirrel and a black Eastern Grey Squirrel. The magpies were quick to spot them, and followed them around and harassed them. With major predators, like hawks, owls, weasels, fox and coyotes, the squirrels will not likely last long. That’s good news for life in my forest.

In a perfect world, someone would drop you off in my forest for a few days too. How long did you spend in the trap – was that terrifying? You would wander through the woods, naked, with no food or water, no roof over your head. The Coyote Pack would be close by…

I love mankind … it’s people I can’t stand!!
– Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960 –

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17 thoughts on “I Don’t Want Your Squirrels

    • I’ve read the same thing about relocating snakes near our home in Arizona. They simply do not do well when they are moved. Of course, when it is a rattlesnake hiding in your garage (as happened to a neighbour) it is just best to call the fire department and let them move the snake to the outdoors again!

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  1. There is a HUGE difference between urban and rural squirrels; they may be the same species but their lifestyles are completely different. I had DOZENS of squirrels that regularly visited my city property; they travelled in packs, were used to foraging for scraps of human food as well as acorns, seeds, etc. and had few predators (cars being the biggest one!) Out here in the country, on 4+ acres, we only have a handful of their rural cousins. They generally steer clear of us humans, are solitary creatures (except at breeding time), don’t give a d**n about ‘people food’, and know all about the dangers lurking in the forest (foxes, hawks, etc.) Taking an urban squirrel and dropping it off in a rural area is cruel. I agree – people who do that should be cages and then dropped off in some unknown and dangerous region where they’d have to try to survive (it would serve them right if they got eaten by a bear!)

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    • You are right, Margo. Urbanites don’t always adapt well to the country. Seems true for people too…
      Speaking of predators, I spotted a horned owl in the woods as I was walking this evening. Nearby I heard a magpie chattering at some invader – maybe the squirrel. If the owl is at all on the ball, it will be following up on the magpies message.

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  2. We have this issue with unwanted puppies and kittens. For some reason people feel that every farm place wants all their unwanted puppies and kittens. It is not unusual to find them wandering down the driveway half starved. I get totally ticked off when those irresponsible owners decide to make their pet someone else’s problem. It is not humane and it is not being responsible. Taking a deep breath and stepping off my soap box!

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    • We have the same problem out here – dogs, cats and rabbits that people drop off. The other thing is garbage. I pick up nearly a bag of refuse each spring that has either blown in from somewhere, or been dumped in the ditch.

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  3. I guess it’s the human condition to transfer a problem rather than deal with it. I was taking it to an even wider perspective (than cats and squirrels). Like transferring a problem employee rather than counseling, training, or even firing. Or dumping a friend because they eat up too much time and energy (rather than talking to them about it).
    I suppose your squirrel dumpers don’t want to do the hard job—learn to exterminate the squirrel or learn how to live with it.
    Sometimes I’m surprised humanity has made it this far.

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    • I think you’ve got the makings of a blog post there, Barb. I’m also thinking parents who expect more and more ‘parenting’ from the teachers; and citizens who expect their governments to provide more and more and more. The strength, hard work, and independence of the people who settled our countries is being replaced by an attitude of ‘let someone else do it.’

      So, someone or something else gets to exterminate the squirrel (if I see it checking out the generator again for use as a home, then you can bet it will be exterminated!)

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  4. I absolutely agree, Margy. And I speak from experience, like the time my parents dropped me off in the country. Fortunately, I had a good sense of direction and found my way back home. Boy did they learn their lesson! The next time, they blindfolded me.

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  5. I agree. I hadn’t thought of the difference in releasing a squirrel into the wild. I do understand folks good intentions of moving a squirrel to the wild. I also understand folks frustrations at the problems squirrels can cause.
    We had a chipmunk problem some years ago. They came when we were feeding birds out of one feeder. At first we were happy to see the chipmunks, then the little darlings got underneath our home and tore up some of our duct work. We were not happy at all about that. My husband fixed the duct work and sealed the places around the foundation that the chipmunks were getting in and stopped that part. We stopped feeding the birds gradually over a summer. That resolved our issues and we didn’t have to worry about the chipmunks anymore.
    So, I suppose with patience and doing away with the food sources, the squirrels would hopefully move on and find better living places.
    However in the cities I understand how that’s not really workable for the squirrels. I guess the alternative to capturing the Squirrels and turning them loose in a more country area, may be a zoo or a sanctuary. I think Extermination should be a last resort.
    Great post. There’s much food for thought here.

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    • Yes, the most humane approach is to exclude them from places we don’t want them!

      In our part of the world, the grey squirrel ranks about as high as gophers and mice as rodents that no one would choose to have around! Sanctuary for them is about as likely as sanctuary is for rats in rat-plagued places like New York City!

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  6. Thankfully the squirrels here in Wales (and the other creatures too) tend to find their own way around the place and aren’t imported by people. That said… it wasn’t the case for Minks that were, from what I recall, originally ‘freed’ by well meaning animal-rights activists. They live freely now, but are a total menace to the rest of the wildlife.

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