Blood Thirsty Squirrels- Officials Are Warning Park Visitors To Be Cautious
There have been a rash of squirrel bites being reported at the Rockefeller Park Playground in Lower Manhattan. The ‘Battery Park City Authority’ is responsible for the safety at the park, and they have released a statement regarding the squirrels.
Squirrels, part of the rodent family, are generally not aggressive when they come into contact with humans. Usually they scatter at the mere sight of people. This group that lives in the park, are not your average squirrel.
The warning read in part, “We urge New Yorkers and visitors not to feed the squirrels. As they are perfectly able to feed themselves and they can bite. Richard Simon the director of New York City Wildlife unit says people are not used to seeing squirrels be aggressive.
The Battery Park Authority has been routinely posting warning signs through the park. The signs very pointedly warn people to abide by the rules and not feed the animals.
Parents Of Children Who Visit The Park Say The Squirrels Are Completely Out Of Control
One parent who asked not to be named said, it’s to the point where you can’t have any snacks even in a stroller. The woman said, she has seen squirrels jump into strollers looking for food, ‘it’s terrifying’ she added.
These extremely aggressive animals do have a pattern the authorities say, they have been fed in the past by humans. They want food on a regular basis, and if they don’t get it, they become aggressive.
The New York Health department reports that about 30 people a year in New York are bitten by the animals. This happens most often when people feeding the squirrels get too close to them. Officials say contrary to popular belief, squirrels do not carry rabies.
The type of squirrels New York deals with are the grey variety. These creatures pose more of a threat to electrical wires than they do to humans. In 1987 a gray squirrel’s handy work destroyed an electrical wire connected to the New York Stock Exchange. This caused Wall Street to be shut down for hours and caused pandemonium around the world.
New York City Is Currently Mulling Over Outlawing The Feeding Of Animals
City officials are contemplating making feeding squirrels illegal, and offenders being heavily fined. Officials say that feeding the animals is not good for humans or the squirrels, and the food they can find on their own is healthier for them than human food.
Feeding them also makes them less afraid of humans and going forward that’s definitely a negative thing. Officials say when the animals bite they are hungry, and it’s more commonly seen in adolescent squirrels versus older ones.
Several children and adults have been scratched and bitten by the playground of the park. The people made no overate actions towards the animals. According to bite victims, the squirrels just came out of nowhere, totally unprovoked. City parks in New York are also seeing a rise in rats running through them, which carry all types of diseases.