Saturday, October 6, 2007

British Squirrels: Reds vs. Grays

There's a disturbing article in the New York Times magazine, titled The Squirrel Wars, by D. T. Max. The story examines Britain's love of the red squirrel and its hatred (really!) of the gray squirrel.

Why the love - hate? It appears that Britain's beloved red squirrels are being run out of town, so to speak, by the more assertive and somewhat more adaptable gray squirrel - which happens to be an import from the U.S. While some Brits are busy being angry about this, they seem to forget acknowledging that it was their wealthy citizens that brought the gray squirrel over from America as 'pets'; when they no longer wanted their pets, they turned them loose. A century-plus later, you have a "problem".

What to do, what to do?

While there is what appears to be a well-intentioned British organization called Save Our Squirrels (SoS), there is the opposite group called Red Squirrel Protection Partnership (RSPP) which received government funds to organize. The RSPP, which in fact does not protect the red squirrels, chooses to trap gray squirrels and then bash their heads in or shoot them in the head! Really! What does that have to do with protection? It has only to do with death. This cruel gestapo-like group is led by Lord Redesdale, who seems to have nothing better to do with his life than recruit people to trap and kill gray squirrels. So much for "royalty". What's equally as sick is that Redesdale and his partners seem to actually take glee in their style of killing the animals. Government-funded cruelty, sorry in its lack of progressive and positive actions.

To read the NY Times magazine story, click on this link. Of course, especially if you're from Britain in this case, you're always welcome to leave your comments.


  1. Yes, well, the British are well know for another rather unpleasant blood sport - fox hunting. So I am not surprised by the squirrel abuse. There are humane ways to tackle these problems. Lucky animals can't talk or there would be lots of loud voices out there.

  2. Or should I say pity they can't talk, maybe more people would listen.


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