15 September 2012

A "squirrel king"

These details from the imgur posting (embed cropped from original) and Reddit thread:
"My co-worker sent an email saying he would be late because he was trying to untie a squirrel tail knot. I asked for a picture, and he delivered... This is the email he sent:
I was pressed into squirrel rescue this morning on my way out. Five young squirrels got tangled in Christmas lights in my neighbor’s yard. We got the lights off, but now their tails are one big knot, so I have to bring them into a rescue place to untie them, as I am unequipped to untie squirrel tail knots. I should be in this afternoon. 
Some readers of this blog will remember my January repost from 2008: A "rat king" - and three bucks.  Rat kings have been presumed to be mostly apochryphal, but the Reddit thread included a link to a most-interesting article at Messinger Woods Wildlife Care and Education Center:
In the wild, squirrels make their nests of dried leaves and branches...  A strange natural accident that sometimes occurs is sap from pine branches that the nest is constructed of can adhere to the squirrels' tails and ultimately to each other's tails. Squirrels normally have litters of 4 to 6 babies. As they are fed in the nest, they are quite "squirmy" and move around frequently. Once their tails become stuck together, movement is limited amongst them and they jump under and over each other trying to reposition themselves. In the process, they literally knot or braid themselves together. The squirrels pull in many directions, thereby worsening the situation. They can actually live quite a long time like this, as the mother continues to feed them.
The article continues with detailed directions on how to cope with a squirrel king if you encounter one, and how the victims can be untangled.

You learn something every day.

1 comment:

  1. You win! No more calls, Minnesotastan!

    That is the strangest thing I've seen in a LONG time! Thanks for posting. Always find something interesting on TYWKIWDBI!


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