Monday, September 10, 2012

Be Careful If You Feed Roosevelt Island Squirrels - They Can Bite


Be careful if you try to feed a Roosevelt Island squirrel. Received the following message from a Roosevelt Island resident today:
I was bitten by a squirrel on Friday. My wife and I were feeding them nuts when I bent over to pick up something on the ground. One ran over and jumped on my hand and nipped me... not a severe bite, but enough to draw blood. I must have startled him or he mistook me for taking his nuts, it is a behavior I see them display among themselves. The dominate one tend to think all the nuts are his and chase the others away. I washed it and everything, called the health department and they said squirrels don't carry rabies. Then Saturday night I heard about the squirrel deaths and became worried. I assume they tested those for rabies.

What is your take on this. The island is isolated and there have been no reports of rabid animals on the island for at least the past 6 years.
I am not aware of any Roosevelt Island rabies incidents involving squirrels or other animals but suggested that the resident contact Public Safety just to be safe.

The resident reported back:
They seem tame but are still wild animals. I don't think it was trying to bite me, it is not a puncture wound, just a minor cut. I found out another individual on the island was bitten awhile ago, and hers was a deep puncture. Her problem was she was trying to hand feed the squirrel, I just toss the nuts to them.

I called the health department looked it up on the CDC's website and everything came back as Squirrels do not carry rabies...

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Black Squirrel (not the squirrel from this incident)

More information on the Roosevelt Island dead squirrels found on the Southtown lawn last July at this previous post.

64 comments :

YetAnotherRIer said...

Common sense? At least I thought everybody knows that a) squirrels have sharp teeth (they do nibble on nuts after all) and b) they are wild animals.

Mark Lyon said...

Also, don't taunt the geese.

rilander said...

By feeding squirrels, geese or pigeons you are encouraging their proliferation. They are not pets, and although you probably weren't exposed to rabies they do carry other diseases. Further, when the powers that be need to eradicate these pests they use potent poisons which is a hazard to people, especially to children who want to play on the grass or in the wonderful park areas. So please stop feeding these animals: it's not cute and there are safer forms of entertainment.

KidKilowatt said...

Hey, I like squirrels. They should proliferate.

Anonymous said...

The island squirrels are getting aggressive . A man was bit while eating his muffin on a bench, a few years back. I reported the story here, a few years back. It's just plain dumb to feed them. Sorry

alicep spaulding said...

Enough with the squirrels... it's the same thing as a rat infestation. Feed the hungry, not the rodents, please!

KidKilowatt said...

You're better than a rodent? You'll be singing a different tune when the aliens come.

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