Russia has a black-market squirrel problem
Are your squirrels legal? If you bought them out of someone’s trunk or trench coat in Moscow recently, PROBABLY NOT.
“Russians have gone nuts for squirrels,” explains the Associated Press. (Dammit! They beat us to the pun.) Not content with the usual knock-off Guccis, sinister folk are swiping squirrels from Moscow parks and reselling the cute, bushy-tailed critters as pets. (Neither their meat nor fur is worth much.)
Moscow city employee Alexei Gorelov warned the AP that people need to leave squirrels alone:
“(Wild) animals have to be enjoyed from a distance,” said Gorelov as he scrolled through a Russian website selling squirrel pets.
Despite the website’s claims that squirrels are a “friendly and gentle” animal to keep around the house, they can bite and are not domesticated.
And if you don’t watch out, they will try to bury their nuts in your other pets, if you know what we mean (we mean literally burying nuts in your pets):
Plus, the fine for squirrel poaching is $573. Is rabies* really worth that much?
*Just to be clear: Rabid squirrels are quite rare but not unheard of.
Get Grist in your inbox