Monday, October 10, 2005

Animal of the Week October 10, 2005 -- Crack squirrels of Lambeth

This week's animal of the week is Sciurus carolinensis (eastern gre/ay squirrel). Reports over the weekend suggested that grey squirrels in south London, specifically Brixton, had become addicted to crack cocaine.

The bushy-tailed rodents are apparently digging up stashes that dealers and users have buried in their gardens for safekeeping and wolfing them down. There are tales of crack-addict squirrels in New York and in Washington DC, but it seems that, like the squirrels themselves a couple of hundred years before, the habit has crossed the Atlantic.

I recall a news story from several years ago, in which smoking was banned in some London park, and shortly afterwards squirrels began to attack people, it turned out the squirrels had been chewing on cigarette butts and become addicted to nicotine. So maybe stories of the crack-addict squirrels of SW9 are not so far fetched. I can't imagine the problem escalating beyond the relative safety of the urban environment, it will be difficult for squirrels to avoid their natural predators if they are wearing a hooded top and exaggeratedly dragging a leg as though someone has "popped a cap in their ass".

One squirrel that certainly doesn't have a crack problem -- but has enough to contend with besides -- is Sugarbush, a neocon squirrel.


Post a Comment

<< Home