Residents in Queens, New York, are facing a serious squirrel problem.
Multiple attacks have been reported in Rego Park, according to local news affiliate FOX 5 New York.
The Singh family from Rego Park told FOX 5 that their neighborhood has experienced around 20 unprovoked squirrel attacks since Thanksgiving.
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“They have been randomly attacking people — attacking is anywhere from jumping onto them to scratching and biting aggressively,” Vinati Singh explained on Wednesday. “We don’t know why it’s happening.”
Other Rego Park residents have been attacked so severely, they have been left bloodied by the aggravated rodents, according to recent photos and videos shared by social media users.
Micheline Frederick, 56, told the New York Post she was attacked by a squirrel on Dec. 21.
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“The squirrel didn’t care, it just wanted something — it wanted blood,” she said. “For a few days afterwards I would come out with a shovel, just in case, looking around.”
It is not clear why squirrels in this particular New York City neighborhood are attacking.
“Squirrels and many other small rodents are rarely found to be infected with rabies,” the NYC Health Department’s said in a statement. “If New Yorkers believe they have observed an animal infected with rabies, they should report it to 311. Any resident who has been bitten should contact their doctor and report it to the Department’s Animal Bite Unit.”
Records on NYC Health do not show any positive cases of rabies among squirrels in 2020. Nor have there been any confirmed infections recorded in the last 10 years.
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“The NYC Health Department received a complaint about an aggressive squirrel in Rego Park and advised the property owner to hire a New York State licensed trapper,” a spokesperson from the health agency told Fox News via email. “We are actively working with residents to get more information about the bite events and coordinating with the trapper.”
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The total squirrel population throughout New York City is unknown. (iStock)
New York City is home to the Eastern Gray Squirrel, according to WildlifeNYC, a city government-supported education campaign. The breed is said to be able to reach speeds up to 15 mph and leap upwards of 8 feet.
WildlifeNYC advises people to refrain from feeding squirrels, keep distant from them when they are in view and to seal up homes to avoid nesting infestations.