- Squirrels have attacked residents of Rego Park for weeks now.
- The last assault finally drew blood.
Anytime there’s a story about a small furry animal going after a person, the answer’s always rabies. What else would make a creature take on someone so much bigger who has opposable thumbs? This story out of Queens is a friendly reminder that victory against wild animals is never assured. A group of squirrels decided they’re sick of their place on the food chain and are going after people in the Rego Park neighborhood.
Anything with teeth can be dangerous.
The furry brutes have been attacking people for weeks at this point. It sounds straight-up adorable until you see the local WCBS-TV station’s footage that aired along with the story. It’s graphic. The latest victim was Michelin Frederick, who fended off a squirrel on the stoop of her home.
Frederick wasn’t the first resident on 65th Drive the squirrels attacked. They’ve been rushing and pouncing outside several homes, but the neighborhood, so far, had been able to “shoo” them away. This time, the people weren’t so lucky, and Frederick didn’t survive the fight unscathed. Blood covers the snow in front of her New York home, and her hand sustained many puncture wounds from the little guy.
“We’re wrestling in the snow, and there’s blood everywhere and my fingers getting chewed, and it won’t let go,” Frederick told the Associated Press, “Eventually it just stopped, and there I was a big bloody mess.”
Killer squirrels are a low priority until they’re not.
Given that New York, like the rest of the world, is dealing with COVID, it seems like they’re not terribly concerned about homicidal squirrels. They advised the neighborhood to hire a trapper on their own. But these squirrels aren’t just mean, they’re clever, and the traps remain empty.
The squirrels have also attacked Frederick’s neighbors. Licia Wang lives nearby; a squirrel attacked her as she walked up to her home. It jumped on her back before launching an assault on her arm, “I was screaming,” she told the CBS affiliate, “Crazy!” The Vingh family lives next door to Frederick and were recording a video of the squirrel on their mailbox when it attacked. The first time they disengaged peacefully from the animal. The second time, it made a rush to get into their house, presumably intent on carrying out its murderous plot. They thwarted that attack as well.
Get bit, get vaccinated.
Apparently, squirrels rarely get rabies and even less frequently transmit it to people. Worth noting, while you’re deciding which wild animals to interact with, feral cats are among the most significant sources of rabies transmission to people. Frederick is still getting treated for rabies just in case because it’s a terrifying disease; 60,000 people die from it every year, although just two of those happen in the US. Still, if you get bit by a wild animal, get the rabies vaccine within 24 hours.