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Satire: Squirrels parade on USA nature trails

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USA squirrel Scrat enjoys a snack while at the parade on USA’s nature trails.

USA squirrel Scrat enjoys a snack while at the parade on USA’s nature trails.

Briana Cunningham

Briana Cunningham

USA squirrel Scrat enjoys a snack while at the parade on USA’s nature trails.

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Mobile squirrels organized a military parade yesterday on USA’s nature trail. They came together to celebrate their eldest members, and their strength in numbers.

Senior Rachel Pilgreen worries the squirrel population on USA’s campus is out of control.

“Personally, the squirrels terrify me,” Pilgreen said. “Even though they are the mascot of my sorority, I don’t love them.”

Unfortunately, our campus is not the only area to come under siege by the squirrels.

Student Amber-Lynn Boothe reflected on her encounter with a squirrel in Bienville Square over Christmas break.

“The squirrels in Mobile are notorious for eating out of your hand so I figured I’d feed it,” Boothe said. “Well, it took the cornbread from my hand…as well as half of my finger.”

Squirrels are rarely a problem indoors, according to Bob Lowry, USA director of communications and media relations. In the event that a squirrel finds itself inside a campus building, pest control is called to humanely trap the squirrel and return it to the outdoors.

But what stops a squirrel from being a menace outdoors?

For more information, the Vanguard decided to go straight to the source: the squirrel community.

Rocky is a direct descendent of an Old Mobile family of squirrels that were given to Bienville Square in 1904 from the Mayor of Montgomery, Thomas Carr. In an interview with the Vanguard, Rocky identified what he believes is causing a spike in aggressive squirrel behavior.

“Back in my day, you didn’t get handouts,” Rocky said. “Squirrels nowadays don’t understand the value of a hard days work. Humans need to stop giving these squirrels food and degrading the moral character of our youth. They need to forage for their own nuts.”

Scrat, an adolescent squirrel, argued human negligence has led to an increase in poor squirrel health. In response, squirrels are lashing out.

While living outside of USA’s Humanities building Scrat said he has observed humans create all-you-can-eat high carb and protein buffets, feed wild animals and smoke excessively.

“I’ve politely asked humans to be aware of others and abide by the rules,” Scrat said. “They just laugh and tell me I’m too chubby.”

According to Scrat, there are no consequences for students who break the rules. Humans continue to subject squirrels to second-hand smoke, offer their leftovers to squirrels who stare too long, and throw away their unhealthy lunches where squirrels can easily access them.

“The enforcement of the smoking ban is not USAPD’s responsibility and USA has failed to provide healthier lunch options,” Scrat said. “We’re at a loss.”

In the meantime, biology instructor Joel Borden urged the USA community to observe squirrels from a distance. According to Borden, squirrels are placental mammals with high body temperatures and can carry diseases that could be passed on to humans, such as rabies and lyme disease.

“Typically, wild squirrels are not aggressive toward humans,” Borden said. “They would see us as a potential threat. However, the more they come into contact with humans with little to no adverse consequences, the more likely they are to approach humans. They become habituated to humans and may even associate us with food.”

At the end of the day, we should never feed wild animals.

USA also offers smoking cessation classes to students and employees who wish to quit smoking. You can find more information on the cessation program at southalabama.edu/specialprojects/tobaccofree/

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Satire: Squirrels parade on USA nature trails