Squirrels in New York’s Queens defy the foundations of social distancing

The New York Department of Parks and Recreation warns against feeding squirrels, which can make them less afraid of people. AFP

People who live in the Rego Park neighborhood of Queens have reported multiple squirrel attacks in the last month, with a woman in dire need of help after being bitten in the hand.

One resident told local media that if she encountered an aggressive squirrel or a pack, she would leave the house with pepper spray, and others expressed fear for their children.

“The next thing I know is a cage match and I lose,” Micheline Frederick told the local ABC7 station about a case where a squirrel bites or scratches its neck, requiring a precautionary rabies shot.

The city’s health department issued a statement advising residents “to hire a New York State-licensed trapper.”

A woman plays with two children on a street in Queens New York on May 13. AFP

“Squirrels and many other small rodents are rarely infected with rabies,” said the health department, urging residents to report any animal they discover to local authorities.

Most of the squirrels in New York City are, according to the New York Department of Parks and Recreation, from the eastern gray variety and along with pigeons, the answer of the day to the metropolis’s huge rat population that roams the night landscape.

The park department warns against feeding squirrels, which can make them less afraid of people.

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