My friends often describe squirrels, to my great indignation, as “rats with prettier tails.” I will spare you my feelings on this—suffice it to say that, obviously, the trash-scavenging conditions of squirrels in urban areas has more to do with human encroachment on their habitat than any fault of their own (also, I really love rats)—but here in Middletown we have some squirrel variation that invites greater appreciation. Of course I’m referring here to the beautiful jet-black squirrels that frolic and scavenge about the Wesleyan campus.
Below: a more upbeat picture of a squirrel joining an Arabic class. After the jump: somewhat graphic image of headless squirrel.
This past Sunday, a squirrel came to its gruesome end after being pecked alive by a red-tailed hawk. On Thursday, Wesleying commemorated the six-month anniversary of a Wes Squirrel’s death by vulture. Squirrel enthusiasts, beware. Here comes another crime report.
On Thursday, October 25, at approximately 9:30 am, Alexandra Ricks ’16 and I were walking down Warren Street from Freeman Athletic Center. Ricks stopped in her tracks and shrieked. I quickly followed suit when I saw what laid before us.
There, in the middle of the sidewalk, was a dead Wes Squirrel. Sans-head.
It is common to see dead squirrels here and there at Wesleyan, but rarely does one see a sight like this. The squirrel was sitting in an upright position, with the complete front half missing. The spine was severed, visibly sticking out of the corpse’s bottom half. (Click past the jump at your own discretion.)
Warning: Gruesome photos after the jump
Wesleying would like to inform the community that on Sunday 10/21/12 at approximately 11 a.m. a Wes squirrel was scurrying atop a WILD Wes compost pile outside of WestCo 1 when a non-student red-tailed hawk swooped down and began violently pecking at it. The hawk did not attempt to engage the squirrel in conversation before grasping it with its razor sharp, two-inch talons. The squirrel was disembowled but declined medical attention and did not report the incident to the Middletown Police.
Ethan Hill ’16 who witnessed the altercation from his WestCo balcony said:
My roommate Willie Zabar ’16 saw the hawk tackle the squirrel on the compost pile and start pecking at it. Then [the hawk] grabbed it and flung it down on the ground and ripped its arm off.
The hawk flew off after dismembering the squirrel, before it returned to the scene at approximately 1:50 p.m. It resumed eating the squirrel, causing severe injuries to its intestines and severing its head. Several students who were returning from brunch and witnessed the confrontation took out their phones and took pictures. The hawk eventually fled the scene into a nearby tree.
Witnesses described the assailant as an adult female red-tailed hawk of indeterminate subspecies with a wingspan that was terrifyingly long.
Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to call Public Safety at 860-685-2345 or erect a convincing scarecrow. It is unknown at this time if this public safety incident is linked to last spring’s vulture attack on April 25.