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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 August, 2003, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Marauding squirrels invade estate
Grey squirrel - freefoto.com
Grey squirrels are usually wary of humans
Fearless grey squirrels are terrorising the residents of a West Midlands housing estate.

People are being forced to keep windows and doors shut to keep the hungry animals out.

One woman says she was cornered by the creatures in a local park.

The RSPCA says the squirrels have lost their fear of humans after being fed.

Street antics

Resident Ivor Pershall, who is disabled, says he has been unable to open the windows of his West Bromwich flat during the heat wave because the animals keep getting inside to look for food.

"I'm frightened of them. They jump on the balcony and then try to get in a hole in the brickwork in my flat which leads into the living room.

"They run along the fence and everywhere round here and they play up and down the street. I just can't stand them.

"I can't leave my windows and doors open. With the heat wave, can you imagine my position?" he said.

One woman told me she got surrounded by six squirrels in a park in Wednesbury
Councillor Bob Evans

"I don't want any harm to come to them, but I am frightened of them."

Bob Evans, a borough councillor in Sandwell, said a number of other people living in Hawkstone Crescent had asked for help.

"There were quite a few residents complaining about the overgrown trees, which are causing the problem.

"The squirrels are getting from the trees into the properties.

"I've put a letter into the council requesting that the trees be pruned."

He added: "This is the first time I've had to deal with squirrels, but since the problem came to light recently lots of people have spoken to me.

"When I was a lad you didn't see squirrels coming into town - now we're inundated with them.

Metal mesh

"One woman told me she got surrounded by six squirrels in a park in Wednesbury.

"One's OK, but five or six is a bit of problem."

An RSPCA statement said: "Trapping the squirrels will not provide a long-term solution.

"The best deterrent is to prevent access to the food inside the kitchen and making the area less attractive to squirrels.

"In the short-term, it may also help to close the kitchen windows or even put up metal mesh temporarily over any open kitchen window to maintain air flow in this hot weather, but to prevent the squirrels' access to the room."

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07 Nov 02  |  England
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30 May 02  |  England
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26 Nov 01  |  England

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