A squirrel jumped into the spokes of a bicycle being ridden by Finnish opera singer Esa Ruuttunen, causing him to fall and break his nose on the ground. He had been pedaling on his way to the Helsinki Opera House for the opera Kaarmeen Hetki ("Hour of the Serpent").
The squirrel didn't survive, but I have included a picture of a Finnish squirrel taken from this photo website of a person from Finland.
In August we covered a number of stories where squirrels were causing power outages. In fact, we identified 80,000 people temporarily went without power due to squirrels. Here are some new power outages, most of which occurred in the Pacific Northwest.
Squirrel causes outage for residents near the Washington County Fair Complex in Oregon. No estimate of the number of people who went without power was given, so we'll conservatively assume at least 10,000 people.
This total of 17,500 brings our total count of people impacted by power outages due to squirrels since mid-August to 97,500. This means our next power outage due to squirrels will likely push us over the 100,000 level.
A mischievous squirrel caused a power blackout for 10,000 homes (or about 30,000 people) in Mumbai, India a few days ago. This brings our total power blackouts due to squirrels this week to about 80,000 people. FYI, Mumbai was formerly called Bombay.
Besides, there are other fish to fry at the moment. I just got a note from a woman in north Scottsdale who said she had seen a squirrel with a bird in its mouth. That's weird.
Some squirrels, gray and flying squirrels, sometimes will raid a bird's nest for the eggs or the babies, but we don't have any of those around the Valley. We have rock squirrels, and they are not meat-eaters. At least they're not supposed to be. Still, I suppose anything is possible. Maybe it was a rogue, an outlaw, a rock squirrel gone bad.
Sorry, no pics. Apparently the lady didn't snap any pictures of the little squirrel.
“It was a kamikaze rodent that hit the transformer,” said Sevier County Judge Dick Tallman. The rodent was a squirrel acting like a kamikaze pilot from World War II with reckless disregard for where it was landing, Tallman said. “He stumbled onto the transformer and got his feet on the wrong place. SWEPCO fished him off the transformer. When he hit the transformer shorting it out, it exploded with the sound like a cannon,” said Tallman. “It’s happened twice before and you would think by now, we would build a wire cage to try and prevent it,” he said.
Here's a great cartoon from Doctor Fun, with the caption "Mrs. Parson's Finishing School for Squirrels". After one of the squirrels rummages through her plan, she says, "I guess one of us just isn't with the program." (Click image to enlarge)
But on some occasions, squirrels are the ones that inst igate interactions with humans. There is an August 2006 case of an overly aggressive squirrel that was attacking people in Central Park in the Orlando are near Rollins College in the town of Winter Park. The following was written in the 8/11/06 Orlando Sentinel:
At least seven people were attacked by an abnormally aggressive squirrel in Central Park from Aug. 1 to Aug. 4. The squirrel attacked people on four consecutive days, persisting despite being smacked with a purse and shoes, pepper-sprayed by police, stomped and flung.
The squirrel's victims had expressed frustration that it was not captured sooner, especially after hearing that 19-year-old Dylan Osborne had caught it Aug. 3 and held it under a bucket for more than two hours waiting for county animal services to arrive. Osborne released it when no one came.
A short time later, it scratched Shannon Mariotti's foot while she sat on a park bench. Mariotti, 29, had just arrived in Winter Park hours earlier to begin her job as an assistant political-science professor at Rollins College. "I started to walk away from it, and it followed," she said. "Then I started to run away, and it ran after me." As she ran from the park, she tried to warn Cox, but the squirrel quickly latched onto Carson, biting and scratching him. Mariotti and Carson began rabies treatment that night at a hospital emergency room.
What did this happen? A wildlife expert postulates the squirrel became accustomed to being fed by humans.
Joe Perez of Orlando-based Advanced Wildlife Trappers speculated that the squirrel was accustomed to being fed by people and was looking for food, even if the victims had not been feeding it. "They get very aggressive," Perez said. "They will come after you for something to eat."
Again, we recommend squirrel watching from a distance, but these people did nothing wrong.