Due to the recent pet craze sweeping through Moscow, squirrels are rapidly disappearing from public parks. Don’t these people know that wild squirrels are absolutely terrible pets?!
Seriously squirrels may be adorable, but they’re the worst. I knew a girl who took in a squirrel when I was in high school, and she introduced me to her bushy-tailed buddy. It was cute, but you know those hooked claws that squirrels use to zip up and down trees at top speed? Imagine the little tree rats running up and down your exposed arms and legs. Ow…
High school flashbacks aside, multiple reports of squirrel poaching in the city’s parks have pushed the local law enforcement to tighten security. If a squirrel-napper is caught, they could be slapped with a fine of up to 20,000 rubles (about $573 USD). The residents who used to enjoy the wild squirrels are annoyed at the poachers, and the wild tree dwelling rodents are more likely to bite and scratch would-be owners because they weren’t raised around humans in captivity.
Thankfully, the squirrels provide very little value when it comes to meat and fur, so let’s hope that the animals who are sold off end up in loving homes or are released back into the wild. Since some Russian pet websites sell squirrels for around $144 each, it shouldn’t be too difficult to track down the squirrel thieves, right? If they start tagging squirrels with computer chips, and police might just crack this illegal pet ring like an acorn!