Thursday, May 22, 2014

Aquatic attack squirrel and local news destroy my fantasy of Britain

Today was one of those rare days that I ran across an animal problem even I never thought to worry about. It happened in a swimming pool in Devon, England:
A squirrel sparked panic today after it dashed into a busy leisure centre before leaping in the pool and biting a swimmer on the finger.

When lifeguards tried to coax him out the creature leapt into the water and paddled around the deep end for several minutes.

A swimmer tried to fish the squirrel out of the water but was bitten on the finger before the animal scampered off through a fire exit.
Then to my horror, the "related stories" links presented with this article were a litany of problems that completely destroy my idyllic vision of the British isles. There's the seaside resort town in Cornwall that's battling a "plague of giant rats":
People living in the town say they have been plagued with the giant creatures and are worried the super-sized vermin are becoming increasingly bold.
Figures show the number of reported rats in the town has gone up 50 per cent in the last year.

Experts add that the rat population has been allowed to swell since the council stopped killing them for free.

One resident said: "I'm not happy with the situation. I have a daughter who's seven and she's seen dead rats in the garden. She's quite a girlie girl so she doesn't like them at all.

"They are massive - really big for a rat. Some of the cats that live further up the road would think twice about going after one."
And both of those rodent stories are nothing compared to this one:
Killer Asian hornet could arrive in the Westcountry 'within days'
Swarms of killer hornets that have plagued France could cross the Channel to the Westcountry within days.

Giant Asian hornets are responsible for the deaths of six people in France – and experts have warned that they could now be headed to the South of England.
The predators have jaws powerful enough to chew through regular protective bee suits and their venom, which they can spray, dissolves human flesh. If their venom lands in the eyes, the eye tissue will melt, according to a National Geographic documentary.
I don't know if you should reconsider if you were planning a vacation to England this summer - but if you go, seriously, don't ruin it by reading the local paper.

Squirrels should stick to their own facilities, like the one photographed by Jessica Lucia.

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