Kids' Animal Station

For kids who love animals by a kid who loves animals

A Few Reasons Not to Play with Squirrels

My friend and I were in my backyard last week, and we saw a sick squirrel. We decided to pick it up and put it in a bucket. Luckily, we didn’t get scratched or bitten, but my Mom was still pretty mad.

My Mom made us wash our hands for safety, and then Mom knocked the bucket over with a broom and set the squirrel free, so we wouldn’t take any chances of getting touched by the squirrel.

There are two reasons why you should not play with squirrels.

First, you can get diseases. To show me why she was mad, my Mom showed me an article about a girl who got bubonic plague after she found a dead squirrel. It’s a rare disease today, but, in Europe in the Middle Ages, the bubonic plague killed 250 million people, as estimated.

Bubonic plague isn’t the only thing you could get either. There is also rabies. At least 55,000 people die around the world every year from this disease, one every 10 minutes and most are under fifteen years old. Rabies is more of a problem in Asia, Africa and Latin America, but, here’s a fact: it’s happened in every state in the United States, except Hawaii. Rabies will affect the spinal cord along with the brain, and, if you don’t do something about it, it will kill you or your animals. Rabies is unusual in squirrels, but it can happen.

The second reason not to play with squirrels is that they could bite you. This hurts, and I know this from experience, because I have a pet rat, and his bite hurts. They are both small rodents, so I think their bites would be similar.

My advice? You should probably call animal control or something like that if you see an animal acting strangely. And don’t do what I did. Lesson: do not play with sick animals!

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This entry was posted on September 14, 2012 by in Advice/Reviews and tagged , , , , .

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