Russian city invaded by squirrels

Environmentalists in the Russian city of Novosibirsk took note of a surge of squirrels' activity. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed rodents came out of the forest and into the apartments of residents of Akademgorodok. The residents of the above neighborhood have been keeping their windows tightly shut for the second week in a row due to insolent squirrels who sneak into kitchens and turn them upside down by knocking off spice containers, breadboxes and other kitchen utensils while searching for tidbits.

“The frisky creature tore down the curtains and stole the breadcrumbs from an open kitchen cabinet,” said Lyudmila Vaseneva, a resident of Akademgorodok.

Specialists at the environmental club of the Novosibirsk State University confirm the alarming reports of local residents. They say that squirrels have been really guilty of “illegal entry and burglary” this year, reports.

“The squirrels are forced to break into apartments due to a seasonal lack of food,” says Elena Dubynina, an environmental expert. She says the squirrels ran out of the their winter supplies and therefore have to look for something else to eat outside their usual habitat. According to her, squirrels are smart and cunning creatures, they can easily adjust themselves to new conditions. The residents of that neighborhood have been treating them well for many years. So the squirrels got used to bits and pieces thrown to them at a regular basis. Besides, there has been a significant increase in the population of squirrels in that area since last year.

“Looks like we will have to build a number of feeders for them, we will hang those feeders all over the area so that the squirrels can get their food every time they feel hungry,” said Mrs. Dubynina. As by official statistics, there are 12 thousand squirrels in the Novosibirsk area, most of them live around Akademgorodok.

The media reported on hungry squirrels attacking animals and humans in Yakutia in the fall 2003. Aggressive squirrels became a real problem to residents of Mountainous Region of Yakutia. The squirrels were methodically destroying wildlife of the area. There were a few reports of attacks launched by squirrels on humans.

The squirrels went wild in Yakutia following a terrible summer drought in 2003. Forest fires destroyed most of the forests in the above area which is a natural squirrel reserve of Yakutia. The squirrels could not get any food to store for the coming winter. The animals were aware of that desperate situation and began cracking up, according to environmentalists. Finally, 10 tons of pine kernels were “allocated” for feeding squirrels and the problem was resolved.

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Author`s name Margarita Kicherova