What is up with all the tail-less squirrels?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CMV, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    This past summer I noticed a red squirrel in my yard that didn't have a tail. I thought nothing of it beyond, "Oh, he must have had a close call with something. Lost his tail, but kept his life. Lucky him." Since then I have been seeing this squirrel everywhere, and each time I say, "You, again?" Seriously, this squirrel is so present that everyone I know has heard about him and several visitors have seen him.

    Yesterday, I see him again. He is being chased by another squirrel and they are running around doing squirrel things when I realize that the second squirrel is also missing it's tail. What the heck? No wonder I keep seeing him everywhere- "he" is apparently "they". So then this morning, I see yet another squirrel with only half a tail. What is going on?

    I did some research and there was actually a study done on tail-less squirrels. There is no genetic "oops" that causes squirrels to not have tails. The condition is usually as a result of misfortune. There have randomly been incidents of squirrels being born without them (congenital defect), it is not a defect that "runs in the family".

    So, I am wondering why I have a bevy of tail-less squirrels suddenly? Really unlucky predators? Any opinions?

  2. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

    Aug 3, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    Maybe a trap?
  3. stormylady

    stormylady Songster

    Dec 27, 2008
    I would think unlucky predators and very lucky squirrels.
  4. 3forfree

    3forfree Songster

    Mar 17, 2010
    essexville, michigan
    My german shepard would chase every squirrel that came into our yard, I watched her one day and she would get close enough to clamp down on the squirrels tail, and quit running. All the squirrels in my yard had short tails. They still taste good.
  5. hennyannie

    hennyannie Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I kept a cocker spaniel for a friend once, during the few days she stayed here 2 unfortunate squirrels were relieved of their tails. I just could not believe that she managed to grab 2 in a few days but I saw her do it.I would see them after that and both were well except for the stubby tails.
  6. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    My dog has ended up with a mouth full of tail and a the squirrel on a branch demanding she give it back.
    I seen her do it once. She has manage to catch dozens in the 5 years I've had her. Dumb squirrels, she sits frozen about 4 feet from the bird feed, the squirrels come over to eat fallen seed, when they put their head down she charges. The nearest tree is about 20 feet away, many have not made it. Apparently they don't see her.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I am wondering if all these squirrels are as a result of the feral cat we had floating around for a few months. It was a cat that was likely dropped off "out in the country" because its owners couldn't be bothered with it anymore. Cute little bugger and young. Too bad it disappeared within 2 months (probably eaten by the coyotes/fishers), which is what happens to discarded pets "out in the country".

    I haven't thought about that cat since it disappeared, but I'll bet s/he was responsible for the ridiculous looking squirrels I've been seeing. I find it hard to believe any of our normal predators would be so inept.
  8. The Wolf Queen

    The Wolf Queen Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    Id guess dog. What does a tailless squirrel look like anyways?
  9. True Grit

    True Grit Songster

    I was at the emergency vet one time and saw a golden come in with his nose in a blood soaked towel. When they took the towel off blood squirted out two feet. He had caught a squirrel which turned around and bit him in the nose, finding an artery. I never did hear if the squirrel made it but I assume a couple hundred bucks later the dog was fine. [​IMG]
  10. peterlund

    peterlund Songster

    Jan 29, 2010
    MA Cranberry Country
    Quote:Maybe the tail is the tastiest part! Nature is funny that way! [​IMG] Sown here in the "flatlands" we only see squirrels 2 dimensionally, as they are always being run over repeatedly on our streets...

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