Squatting squirrel causes holiday headache for South Austin resident

Down through the chimney for one South Austin resident was not old Saint Nick.  “It's breathing heavy, it's scared,” said the resident’s friend. Wreaking havoc for days, this law breaking squatter was finally found. “It’s been in my house for two days and not only has it ruined a bunch of Christmas lights, all kinds of stuff, it has ruined also ruined love seat, it burrowed into a love seat,” the resident said.

The squirrel gnawed on a Fender Acoustic Guitar, ate through Christmas lights and garland, and destroyed a love seat. Fox 7 went to the professionals to find out what is going on with the squirrels.

Kelly Simon is an Urban Wildlife Biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “He was just finding materials for a safe place to hang out. They're going to look for the most obvious and easily accessible area that's going to be warm and provide them with the elements that they need, food, water, shelter, same thing that anybody else needs to survive.”

The bushy tailed bandits are being spotted messing with Christmas across the country. The Boston Globe reported the furry rodents chewed through wires cutting off the colorful glow of lights strung in trees on Boston Common.
               
A bulb bandit was caught red handed in Seattle. The homeowner Margaret Rican said on her YouTube video the 150 Christmas lights were stolen in 24 hours. “They are not afraid of new and novel things, and they are going to investigate it to see if it's food or some other resource they can use,” Simon said.

WATCH MARGARET RICAN'S YOUTUBE VIDEO



So what do you do if these sometimes squatting nut collectors hold up your home?

“Of course it's going to be a little scary, you want to make sure you get the kids and move them out.  What they are looking for is a safe place, so of course provide them with a safe option The easiest thing you can do is just open a door, open a window and leave the room, because they're usually not going to want to be in the home,” Simon said. If things get out of hand call the authorities, “On those very rare occasions where they have seemed to have found good home, you might need to call a professional to come and remove them.”

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