Firefighters serve eviction notice on ‘aggressive,’ biting squirrel in California town

It takes a village to move a squirrel, apparently.

Firefighters, animal control workers and a wildlife rescue agency teamed up Friday in Santa Cruz, California, to relocate an aggressive squirrel from a downtown tree, the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter reported on Facebook.

The eviction followed “several reports of people being attacked and bitten,” animal control officers wrote. It turned out the 1-year-old squirrel was protecting three baby squirrels.

“The squirrel would jump on them or, you know, assert its dominance,” said “Red” Townsend, who works nearby, KSBW reported. The squirrel, which had taken up residence in a grapefruit tree, had bitten at least four passers-by.

After using a ladder to extricate the squirrels, firefighters turned the family over to Native Animal Rescue of Santa Cruz County, animal control officers wrote on Facebook.

Eventually the squirrel and her babies will be released to the wild, KSBW reported. A nearby resident had raised the squirrel, which she named Emily, after finding it injured.

The squirrel may have lost its fear of humans as a result, leading to the overprotective attacks once its babies were born, animal control workers wrote on Facebook.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.