Monday, December 1, 2014

Reader report: Is there a rabid squirrel near the Tompkins Square Park main playground?


From the EVG inbox this morning...

Saw a black squirrel in Tompkins Square Park playground acting very aggressively and making a horrible growling sound. Never heard a squirrel making any noise before.

It was perched on a branch of a tree in the playground by Avenue A and 9th Street. It would sit perched on a branch wheezing/growling and breathing rapidly, then run off rapidly and return to same branch and repeat same growl.

This tree is on the inside-the-park side fence in middle of playground near the revolving pole with a triangular base.

Tried to report this to Parks Department and to 311 but just got the runaround.

I don't want any kids to be bitten by a rabid squirrel — especially my kid.

According to the Center for Disease Control, rabid squirrels are extremely rare. Per eHow: "Healthy squirrels can be noisy, bold and curious. They often chatter and make scolding sounds at humans and dogs. Rambunctious behavior in squirrels does not denote rabies."

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is not at all uncommon for squirrels to growl and click their teeth and make noise in general. I have seen/heard plenty of squirrels doing so in Tompkins over the years. That's how they communicate with each other. The squirrels in Tompkins are under constant threat now from the hawks and the rats, too, so that might have something to do with this squirrel's vocalizations. I wouldn't worry about it. I, for one, can't say that I recall hearing about a squirrel attacking a child or anyone for that matter in the park.

Anonymous said...

Squirrels are quite vocal. They can growl, make clicking and sort of hissing noises. There is nothing wrong with that black squirrel. Please do NOT report one of the few remaining squirrels to any animal control or city health department. The squirrel population in Tompkins Sq. Park has been decimated by the red-tailed hawks and poison set out by Parks Dept to kill rats. You should be more concerned with the restaurants dumping food refuse into the park to feed the rats every night. You should also be more concerned with the poison that Parks Dept places around the playground than with a terrified squirrel.

nygrump said...

these squirrels are all brain damaged from toxins and full of parasites, its no wonder they're freaked out. The squirrels that live behind our buildings are just plain stupid and full of mange and fleas and mites. If the squirrel had rabies, it would not sit there chattering, it would be eating your face.

Anonymous said...

nygump - Any proof to back up anything you're saying?

Anonymous said...

Yeah definitely not rabid. Rabid animals dont just sit and make funny noises, they will attack. It was probably just pissed off that its neighborhood is going to shit.

Anonymous said...

All said; TSP definitely has some of the most aggressive squirrels I've ever encountered in this city.

Anonymous said...

These little creatures are quite expressive, and he sounds like he was stressed out about something. Maybe another animal was in his territory. It's best to leave wild animals alone. If you are worried about your kids, scoot them over to the other side of the park. The squirrel will eventually calm down and/or move to another location. I doubt the city is going to send anyone out to check on the situation given that the squirrel's behavior was common. It's also good for city kids to get to observe the animals and learn to respect their space. It's like you took your kid on an urban safari today, and that makes you a cool parent!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone needs to move to Park Slope.

The squirrels there are friendly and only eat organic food.

Anonymous said...

Rabid animals will not attack, but they won't run away either. In the wild, not-running-away is a good way to know if they are sick – in TSP, where they run right up to you, it's less reliable.

Anonymous said...

This park is also way over populated with squirrels (number of squirrels per sq ft?). Some birth control would be helpful.

Gojira said...

From the CDC website:

Squirrels...rarely get rabies and have not been known to cause rabies among humans in the United States. Squirrels may suffer from the fatal roundworm brain parasite, which causes signs that look exactly like rabies.

Anonymous said...

the squirrel is just pissed off that he can't afford the rent in the east village anymore, nothing surprising.

nygrump said...

December 1, 2014 at 12:06 PM - of which part do you want evidence? I may have overstated the "squirrel will eat your face" part, if I hadn't lost my camera I would could take some video of the twitchy little fuckers behind my building with their hair falling out constantly stopping to itch and scratch. They are busy little guys, I open my window and find a nut hidden in there, and they make a mess of my plants. There is some kind of truce, the feral cats just sit and watch the busy squirrels, but the feral cats will kill a big squirrel sized rat without hesitating. Animals do not approach humans in nature, its the first sign something is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify: The squirrel didn't approach anyone in the park. He was sitting on a tree branch, which is normal behavior for squirrels. I think this poor little guy is getting a bad rap!

Anonymous said...

4:57 I lulzed:)

Scuba Diva said...

I've had plenty of squirrels approach me if I make a motion toward my pocked as if I'm going to give them something. These bastards are trained!

I even had one bite my fingertip once because he expected me to be holding a bit of food for him. Oh—and I didn't get rabies; the bite didn't even get infected.

Anonymous said...

Who cares whether the squirrel is rabid or not?

'Say it bit you. You go to the hospital, squirrel rabid or not.

HippieChick said...

I remember when squirrels were supposed to all be on crack from eating discarded vials. I was walking down East 10th by Abe Lebewohl Tiny Triangle when something shot out of the shrubbery and slammed into my leg at about 80 mph, almost bringing me down. I was standing there saying WTF was that when a guy coming the other way said it had been a squirrel. Clearly on crack, then. Or perhaps just rabid.