So that's the thanks I get for rescuing you ...
Squirrel expert who came to the assistance of injured animal is attacked for his efforts
Tuesday 11 November 2008
Uncharitable-minded types know squirrels as rats with bushy tails. A Northumberland rodent named "Elvis" has done little to assist his species' public relations.
Elvis, an injured red squirrel, attacked a pensioner who came to his aid at the weekend, leaving the man needing hospital treatment.
Ernie Gordon, 75, a squirrel fanatic who wrote a children's book The Adventures of Rusty Red Coat, was called out last Friday to rescue the creature after staff at a local timber yard said they had seen the animal dragging its hind legs. Mr Gordon, a retired civil servant, is known locally for spending each day at Alnwick's Hulne Park, studying and hand-feeding the squirrels.
The animal was caught, after several attempts, by a girl who threw a towel over it and it was contained in a picnic basket. Mr Gordon took Elvis to the vet, where X-rays revealed he had a broken pelvis – hence the name. The six-month-old went home with Mr Gordon, who built it a small den in a straw-filled lawnmower box.
But when he picked up Elvis, he sank his teeth repeatedly into Mr Gordon's hands. "It hurt not a little bit, I can tell you," said Mr Gordon, after having a tetanus injection and a course of antibiotics. "You cannot believe the strength or pressure a little squirrel has in its jaw.
"A red squirrel can crack open an almond nutshell with its teeth so you can imagine how it felt."He took a little bit of persuading to let go but the fingers are fine and there's no hard feelings."
After the disagreement, Elvis moved out and is staying in the garage of a mutual friend in a nearby village, Rennington, where the author used to live.
Mr Gordon continues to nurse him, with promising results – contradicting the vet who had initially doubted the squirrel's ability to remain inactive enough to recover and survive.
Mr Gordon and his friend plan to release Elvis back into the local woods in four weeks. The author said: "This story is just absolutely lovely for the kids. It is a true tale."
An RSPCA spokesman said anyone who found a sick or injured squirrel should call the RSPCA or a local vet: "Anyone who finds a sick, injured or orphaned squirrel should resist the temptation to pick it up. Remember that squirrels use their teeth to crack open nuts, so they have a very strong bite."
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...