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  #1  
Old 08-28-2006, 08:58 PM
JoeSki JoeSki is offline
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So...Grey Squirrels eat turtles.

Last week I had a day off and decided to explore Orlando some. The plan was to hit up the Orlando Muesuem of Art and then bum around the downtown area for a while.

So I get to Lake Eola, which I haven't been to since I was around ten, and I notice baby turtles slowly hobbling around a ramp and then some more by and underneath some bushes on the side of the sidewalk. There's a hole in the ground that one is crawling out of.

Sweet! Turtles are some of my favorite animals, and I've seen this on numerous animal documentaries, though usually with the sea turtles. These look like some variety of Cooter. The rules are as such: No touching, no interfering, helping of any kind. I can look, but not touch. So I watch...until a grey Squirrel comes down from a tree and picks one up. I figure he'll put it back down as soon as he realizes it's not a nut and then be on his way....but then he starts gnawing away at him. I shoo him off and then put the bleeding turtle to the side while another squirrel picks up another turtle and scurries up a tree.

I'm now stuck between not interferring, and saving turtles from being eaten by an animal I don't believe is even native to florida. I'm just about to hurl a waterbottle at the grey bastard when some park security guy comes strolling by and catches me in a battle stance.

"Yeah...the turtles are hatching."
"Yeah, they've been doing that lately."
"I'm trying to keep the squirrels away."
"Ah, they won't hurt them."
"They're eating them! Look!"
"Oh my Gad!"

So from there he starts picking them up while I keep the squirrels at bay. I walk around a bit more to see if anything else is hatching but only find a baby softshell turtle waddling around a dock filled with pigeons. I plopped him into the water and didn't see any others of that kind.

That's pretty much the jist of the story. Pretty mudane methinks, but it did leave me wondering if this is normal. Squirrels don't usually eat meat, do they? I thought they stuck to nuts, fruit, vegetables, and human handouts. Has anyone heard otherwise, or is this a rare case?
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2006, 09:17 PM
UKCatGirl UKCatGirl is offline
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This is bizarre. I don't know a whole lot about squirrels, but I've never seen them eat meat before, especially not turtles! I live near there, I might have to drive by and see if this is still happening.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2006, 09:44 PM
Elenfair Elenfair is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by www.wikipedia.org
espite popular impression, squirrels are actually omnivores; as well as eating a wide variety of plant food, including nuts, seeds, fruits, fungi (for example, mushrooms), and green vegetation, they also eat insects, eggs, and even small birds, smaller mammals, and frogs.
I didn't know that either. FREAKY. I hate the tree rats. Bastards.
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2006, 09:50 PM
JoeSki JoeSki is offline
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Now you see, I actually read Wikipedia, but I was looking at the page for Grey Squirrles and I don't recall reading anything about them being omnivores.

I'll never look at a squirrel the same way again.
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2006, 10:58 PM
psycat90 psycat90 is offline
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There was a news article last year about a pack of squirrels in Russia killing a dog.

Found it.
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2006, 11:07 PM
MagicEyes MagicEyes is offline
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Squirrels are evil (except Rocky). They make me really nervous. That commercial with the squirrels trying to make the car wreck--everyone thinks they made that up, but I think it really happens.

I need to move to someplace with less trees. We have tons of trees, and too many squirrels. They all scream at me when I go outside. I keep telling them I pay rent, so I belong here, but they don't believe me. And they dig up my plants. But one time they brought me a Christmas cactus and a little green plastic bucket, so I guess it all balances out.
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2006, 11:25 PM
Mr. Rosewater Mr. Rosewater is offline
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Perhaps the squirrels were confused.

Nuts have shells; these things (turtles) have shells; therefore, these are nuts, let's eat.
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2006, 11:44 PM
Tikki Tikki is offline
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I'd always figured that squirrels could be carnivorous. At least when it came to bugs. It follows that maybe these squirrels figured the baby turtles were just another kind of bug. Or snail. I bet they eat snails too. There's some crunchy bits and some soft bits, just like some bugs and snails. Maybe they even taste pretty much the same. Squirrels probably don't take into account the "Aww, cute!" factor when choosing its meals.

Me, on the other hand, would be so into the "Aww, cute!" It would be sad to witness the baby turtles being murdered by squirrels. I would have done as you did, JoeSki, and try to save as many as I could. My hat is off to you for being a turtle hero!

I have a turtle story to share. We were down at Fort Canby, on the north side of the mouth of the Columbia River when we came across a family excercising their pet turtle on a bit of lawn in one of the parking areas. They liked their turtle so much, they'd taken it on vacation with them! Of course, they made sure they had the right accomodations for him in the car and didn't leave him to fend for himself in the heat or anything. He looked pretty healthy so I guess traveling agreed with him.
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2006, 11:58 PM
Tikki Tikki is offline
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By the way, I don't have any cite that squirrels will eat bugs and snails. That's just my own personal theory and there's a likely chance I may be wrong.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2006, 12:06 AM
JoeSki JoeSki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikki
I would have done as you did, JoeSki, and try to save as many as I could. My hat is off to you for being a turtle hero!
Rewards will now be presented for the following:

First person to chime in with a play on the words: "Heroes in a half shell, turtle power!"

Best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reference or pun
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2006, 12:10 AM
Khan Khan is offline
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As I recall from my elementary school years, Gary Paulsen described a gray squirrel pouncing on and eating a red squirrel in Woodsong.

If you've ever seen a squirrel in New Haven, Connecticut, you'd believe it.

Last edited by tomndebb; 08-29-2006 at 01:24 AM.. Reason: Fixed link tag
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2006, 12:23 AM
JoeSki JoeSki is offline
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...Holy crap.
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  #13  
Old 08-29-2006, 01:15 AM
chowder chowder is offline
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......"and the meek shall inherit the Earth"

What next? packs of man eating sheep
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2006, 02:14 AM
LiveOnAPlane LiveOnAPlane is offline
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Grrrr...I was out on my deck a few years ago when I heard a helluva commotion in the tree. Dove half-flies, half-wobbles to the ground accompanied by a lot of dove feathers.

Up in the tree was a grey squirrel. Bastid had ripped out almost all of the poor bird's tail feathers. Snuck UP on the bird and attacked it.

I tried to catch the dove, but while it could not fly any more, it could run and disappeared into the brush.

Honestly I don't know if the squirrel was trying to catch and eat the dove or was just trying to kill it.

Damn tree rats. I love almost all animals, but the squirrel is one I have absolutely no use for, except in the pot. They are good eating.
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  #15  
Old 08-29-2006, 04:06 AM
chowder chowder is offline
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[/B]LiveOnAPlane[B] you eat squirrels??

Strewth, and they say we have some strange cuisine
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  #16  
Old 08-29-2006, 04:46 AM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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My fourth ( ! ) mention of this story on the SDMB, but what the heck . Quoth me from the last time the little buggers came up:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamerlane
I have witnessed with my own eyes a fat suburban squirrel eating a road-killed robin on a sunny day in sunny California. #1 on Tamerlane's list of surreal visual moments.

Squirrels are not to be trusted.

- Tamerlane
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  #17  
Old 08-29-2006, 05:01 AM
Caprese Caprese is offline
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Joeski
I understand about non-interferance, but this situation defnitely seems out of the ordinary, and I am glad you helped the baby turtles.

Squirrels are not my favorite animals. I have been butting heads with them for many years. I almost did not open this thread up because I assumed (correctly ) that it would be one more appalling squirrel tale--I have a few of my own, including numerous birds' nests being raided for eggs, and screens being chewed so tomatoes could be stolen from my kitchen window.
My brother said he once saw a squirrel make off with a frantically cheeping baby bird.

I know squirrels can have two litters per summer. Maybe that second litter takes a lot out of them, and by late August they're starving.
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  #18  
Old 08-29-2006, 05:26 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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Grey squirrels will raid bird nests for eggs and nestlings, so it's not all that surprising that they would take other small, vulnerable vertebrates too; I've often wondered how, in evolutionary terms, the 'switch' happens between animals that eat plants and predatory ones- I guess it must be a bit like this; a common ancestor that was opportunistic and unfussy.

Maybe in several million years' time, one lineage of the descendants of grey squirrels will have evolved into a sort of fluffy-tailed tree-climbing tiger-analogue, or maybe not.
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  #19  
Old 08-29-2006, 06:08 AM
KRC KRC is offline
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It's official, squirrels are now classified as animals that eat anything that doesn't eat them first.

They've taken to crime too. A few years back I saw some in Central Park trying to mug a guy for his peanut butter sandwich.
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  #20  
Old 08-29-2006, 06:37 AM
Pixisis Pixisis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRC
They've taken to crime too. A few years back I saw some in Central Park trying to mug a guy for his peanut butter sandwich.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
If you've ever seen a squirrel in New Haven, Connecticut, you'd believe it.
It's the truth !
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  #21  
Old 08-29-2006, 06:47 AM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSki
I walk around a bit more to see if anything else is hatching but only find a baby softshell turtle waddling around a dock filled with pigeons.
He was filled with pigeons? Maybe the squirrels were just trying to protect their little bird friends.
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  #22  
Old 08-29-2006, 07:05 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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"Hey, Chip! Stay away from the Walking Nuts! They taste terrible!"
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  #23  
Old 08-29-2006, 07:19 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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While I've known for years that squirrels are omnivorous, I wonder why the guy who worked with them was so certain the baby turtles were safe. Makes me think baby turtles are NOT normally part of these squrrels' diet, which makes me wonder if the squrrel was rabid. Rabid squirrels do weird things (luckily, they're not as common as my mother would have you believe).

Or the guy was new, or just unobservant in the past. Anything's possible.
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  #24  
Old 08-29-2006, 08:17 AM
Mindfield Mindfield is offline
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That's ... unsettling.

I've always regarded squirrels as rather cute little tree rodents. They've never been a huge nuisance around here -- at least, no more so than any other city-dwelling fauna. Heck, at least they're not big enough or smart enough to figure out how to get into your outdoor supposedly-raccoon-proof garbage can at night.

This just freaks me out though. Picturing a squirrel sitting on its haunches, rotating an acorn between its forepaws as it nibbles its way around the edges is one thing. Replacing the nut with a bloody gobbet is very, very different. In fact, I have trouble making that image work without also making the eyes glow red.
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  #25  
Old 08-29-2006, 08:26 AM
NurseCarmen NurseCarmen is offline
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Let me be the first to welcome our new squrrel overlords.

serious man, 24 posts and nobody has rehashed that Simpson's line?
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  #26  
Old 08-29-2006, 10:11 AM
chowder chowder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NurseCarmen
Let me be the first to welcome our new squrrel overlords.

serious man, 24 posts and nobody has rehashed that Simpson's line?
Nope... you're the first one, oh and you're also the first to misspell squirrel
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  #27  
Old 08-29-2006, 10:16 AM
chowder chowder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Rosewater
Perhaps the squirrels were confused.

Nuts have shells; these things (turtles) have shells; therefore, these are nuts, let's eat.
Confused? man they'd have to be totally whacked outta their skulls....

"Hey Fluffy lookit this, a nut with flippers and the little buggers just been swimming"

"Ya don't say, well eat the damn thing anyway"
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  #28  
Old 08-29-2006, 10:22 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Turtles got shells.
Nuts got shells.
It's easy to see how the squirrels could get those two thing confused.
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  #29  
Old 08-29-2006, 10:28 AM
Batsinma Belfry Batsinma Belfry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSki
I walk around a bit more to see if anything else is hatching but only find a baby softshell turtle waddling around a dock filled with pigeons. I plopped him into the water and didn't see any others of that kind.

Baby softshell turtle: "Dammit!!! It took me all day to get up there!"
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  #30  
Old 08-29-2006, 11:07 AM
MannyL MannyL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chowder
......"and the meek shall inherit the Earth"

What next? packs of man eating sheep

Of course you will need packs of man to eat sheep. I know not one man who and eat an entire sheep in one sitting.
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  #31  
Old 08-29-2006, 11:13 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MannyL
Of course you will need packs of man to eat sheep. I know not one man who and eat an entire sheep in one sitting.
I do, but then, Hal jokes are a little old.
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  #32  
Old 08-29-2006, 12:10 PM
chowder chowder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MannyL
Of course you will need packs of man to eat sheep. I know not one man who and eat an entire sheep in one sitting.
Then you aint met my pal Hagar and his buddy Desperate Dan
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  #33  
Old 08-29-2006, 12:42 PM
sciurophobic sciurophobic is offline
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My screen name means "afraid of squirrels." I meant it as a joke.

I now see I was horribly mistaken.
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  #34  
Old 08-29-2006, 01:02 PM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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Obviously, those baby turtles didn't pay their tithe of nuts to the squirrels. This is why people feed squirrels, so they don't decide to eat you instead.


My mother used to have a squirrel around her house who would knock on the door when it wanted food. I wonder what happened to the people who bought her house? Heaven help them if they didn't feed the squirrel.
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  #35  
Old 08-29-2006, 01:17 PM
The Great Sun Jester The Great Sun Jester is offline
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I was initially horrified and surpirsed at the OP story. But then I got to thinking of the little guys as "rodents." Rats and mice routinely go for the easy energy meal, why not squirrels?

Now I'm just horrified. And that Russian black squirrel? Tell me that's not the devil's own creation!
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  #36  
Old 08-29-2006, 01:25 PM
Pixisis Pixisis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile E
My mother used to have a squirrel around her house who would knock on the door when it wanted food. I wonder what happened to the people who bought her house? Heaven help them if they didn't feed the squirrel.

When I was growing up in suburbia, I thought the squirrels were cute and wanted to feed them (and make them, in effect, pets). My mother would not allow it, no matter how much I pleaded and begged.

Our next door neighbor did feed the squirrels. (Probably where I got the idea.) They would come right up to her and take the nuts right from her hand. All well and good, until the day she went out to sunbathe and, horrors, didn't bring any squirrel food. The squirrels attacked her, and she had to go to the emergency room.

I never asked to feed the squirrels after that.
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  #37  
Old 08-29-2006, 01:32 PM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixisis
When I was growing up in suburbia, I thought the squirrels were cute and wanted to feed them (and make them, in effect, pets). My mother would not allow it, no matter how much I pleaded and begged.

Our next door neighbor did feed the squirrels. (Probably where I got the idea.) They would come right up to her and take the nuts right from her hand. All well and good, until the day she went out to sunbathe and, horrors, didn't bring any squirrel food. The squirrels attacked her, and she had to go to the emergency room.

I never asked to feed the squirrels after that.
Once you start paying the squirrel protection money you can't stop. The Squirrelioso cannot be denied. Even the Mafia won't go against them, this is why they don't traffic in nuts.
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  #38  
Old 08-29-2006, 03:12 PM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Rosewater
Nuts have shells; these things (turtles) have shells; therefore, these are nuts, let's eat.
Gamera is really neat; he is filled with turtle meat.
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  #39  
Old 09-04-2006, 04:12 PM
LiveOnAPlane LiveOnAPlane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chowder
[/B]LiveOnAPlane[B] you eat squirrels??

Strewth, and they say we have some strange cuisine
Eh, there's cuisine and then there's cuisine.

Squirrels are actually pretty tasty. You take the haunches and the front feet, soak 'em in milk overnight, then either:

1. Batter them up and fry them, or (preferably)
2. Batter up and just brown them up, then slow cook 'em, put on to a plate, deglaze the pan drippings, add the tree rats back to the pan and friciasee them, make a gravy out out of the "pan leavings," and serve over rice.
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  #40  
Old 09-05-2006, 02:58 AM
Tuckerfan Tuckerfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSki
Sweet! Turtles are some of my favorite animals, and I've seen this on numerous animal documentaries, though usually with the sea turtles. These look like some variety of Cooter. The rules are as such: No touching, no interfering, helping of any kind.
See, this doesn't make any sense to me. Yadda, yadda, natural order of things, I know, but helping an endangered species, like say condors or bald eagles, is going against the "natural order of things" so why should mucking about with turtles on the beach be any different? (And in many places turtles are endangered, I don't know of any place where squirrels [other than the UK where the red ones are being trounced by their American cousins], so screw the squirrels.] If anyone wants to "thin the herd" of squirrels, I recommend this Harvard study on the merits of squirrel fishing.

Quote:
"Yeah...the turtles are hatching."
"Yeah, they've been doing that lately."
"I'm trying to keep the squirrels away."
"Ah, they won't hurt them."
"They're eating them! Look!"
"Oh my Gad!"
For some reason, I can't help but picture this taking place in an early Steve Martin movie or one of the Airplane movies.
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  #41  
Old 09-05-2006, 05:18 AM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chowder
......"and the meek shall inherit the Earth"

What next? packs of man eating sheep

Don't tell Hal. He'll be heartbroken if his favorite woolen sperm receptacle turns the tables.
I know, I'm late to the party.


Oh yeah, and count me amongst the army of squirrel-haters. We've never seen eye to eye, and they can all collectively kiss my ass. Squirrels are a menace and provide nothing good, only wrong. They rely on their fuzzy image to get them good PR.


*takes a few deep breaths*


Ok. I'm better now.
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  #42  
Old 09-05-2006, 05:32 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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A few years ago, my husband saw a touching scene, one squirrel bent over a fallen comrade along side the road. Then he got closer, and saw that the one squirrel wasn't in some posture of mourning, but was actually eating from the other's corpse.
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  #43  
Old 09-06-2006, 03:55 AM
bbs2k bbs2k is offline
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squirrel tag? of death!

A "not as good but still funny squirrel horror story"

As a kid growing up I think most of us have seen the playful squirrels running around on a summer day playfully chasing each other. Well I'll never forget the day that I actually saw one squirrel catch the other... They ran past me as I was riding my bike, they were chirping and making all sorts of squirrel noises, then they ran up a tree one right after the other until they got to a branch about 50 feet high. Thats when one of them PUSHED the other off the tree and the squirrel shreiked as it fell from the heavens!

There's something not right about those things.
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  #44  
Old 09-06-2006, 04:08 AM
Tuckerfan Tuckerfan is offline
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You know, if someone had video of this stuff, I bet that they could get it aired on Fox as a When Grey Squirrels Attack special.
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  #45  
Old 09-06-2006, 10:51 AM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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Okay, this calls for a story of a former co-worker at a vet clinic and friend. We had a client bring us a baby squirrel which she insisted was thrown from the tree by a nasty "Rogue Squirrel". This prompted mush amusement from us and from then on everything bad that happened was the cause of the rogue squirrel. She was an artist and drew a cartoon of a squirrel dressed and armed like Rambo, but the best was the song that accompanied the cartoon.

Sung to the tune of "We Are the World".

We are the squirrels
Where are our children?
He's thrown them from the tree
That rogue's a killer.


Now that I have infected you all with that tune, my work here is done.


To my friend Rox, if you're reading this, sorry we lost touch. As you can see, I still think of you often.
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