A grey squirrel has been branded “psycho” and “nutty” after it caused chaos in a small town in North Wales.
The rodent, which has been nicknamed “Stripe” by locals after the evil character from The Gremlins film, left many people scared to go outside after it began indiscriminately attacking pensioners, children and pets in their gardens in Buckley, Flintshire, last week.
At least 18 people were injured over two days by the rogue squirrel, getting nasty cuts to their hands and heads after being bitten.
A further three people were also hurt by Stripe the week before – and some have even required tetanus jabs.
The critter is said to have launched itself at people with “frightening speed” as they took out their bins but progressed to chasing people down the street.
Scott Felton / SWNS)
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The squirrel’s reign of terror was finally brought to an end on Monday, December 27 when he was caught in a humane trap by 65-year-old Corrine Reynolds.
Gran-of-nine Corrine has been feeding the animal since the summer and it has been making regular trips to her garden over the months looking for food and shelter.
Despite befriending the creature, Corrine was also bitten on the hand and decided she needed to act after seeing multiple reports of squirrel attacks on social media.
Corinne, who works as a home carer, said: “I noticed yesterday (Mon) that in the space of 48 hours, he has attacked 18 people.
“He has started attacking people who are just taking their recycling bags to the bin and they are quite gruesome injuries.
Corinne Reynolds / SWNS)
“He’s not a friendly natured squirrel I am afraid, he is a rogue one and I am starting to wonder if he has got something going on inside his head like a tumour.
“The speed of it is frightening, he dashes from the roof of my garden shed to me – but when he does it to everyone else, he bites them.
“It has even bit an elderly person in the area. On one occasion it chased a lad down the road and then dad was left with a bloody cut on his head.
“He is now attacking people for no reason whatsoever. The front tooth breaks the skin in a quite lethal way. I still have a scar on my finger.
“He began his rampage last Thursday but became more prolific in the last 48 hours.
“We know of at least 21 victims in total but there must be more because not everybody would have come forward on social media to report it.”
Corinne Reynolds / SWNS)
Another unlucky victim was Sheree Robinson, 42, who was bitten on her finger by the squirrel last Thursday morning.
She said: “This squirrel is not very nice at all, it’s a nutty squirrel. He’s a bit of a psycho, he’s had five or six of my neighbours.
“He had me when collecting my recycling bags. He jumped out from behind my green bin, so whether he was trying to get food and thought I was going to take it away.
“Let’s just say it had me good and proper. I’ve got teeth marks on the top and bottom of my finger. It proper latched on and I had to shake it off. He’s taken the top layer off my knuckle. His teeth are like pins.
“I’ve got a five-year-old myself and she usually plays out back with her friends. But I’ve had to say ‘sorry, babe, you can’t go out until something has happened with it’.
“It’s gone wild.”
Scott Felton / SWNS)
Others took to social media to share their experience on a Buckley local community page, with one revealing her cats had been attacked.
She wrote: “Warning vicious squirrel that attacks, has bitten me, attacked my friend kev when he came to my house and multiple other people.
“I’m afraid it needs shooting and I’m an animal advocate, would never normally say that, but it’s also attacked my two Bengals, who fear nothing and my neighbours Bengal cats….not fun.
“Dare not go out if in my house, as it’s lurking.”
Several people were also left requiring tetanus jabs, including granite technician, Scott Felton, 34, who was bitten on Boxing Day.
He said: “I was outside having a cigarette at my back door at the time.
“I crouched down and this squirrel came out of nowhere and jumped onto my garden table. After that, it just jumped onto my arm and bit me on my hand before I even had a chance to get it off – it all happened so quick.
“My partner said I should go to the hospital to get it checked out and, after some persuasion, I went. After arriving at the hospital, I had to have a tetanus jab because the squirrel broke my skin.
“I know of someone else too who had to have a tetanus jab because theirs didn’t stop bleeding.”
Corinne Reynolds / SWNS)
The squirrel has since been collected by the RSPCA and Corinne claims the people of Buckley are “now breathing a sigh of relief” as they are safe once more.
She added: “After I realised that other residents on Facebook had been attacked by the squirrel, we tried to band together to raise money for it to be taken away by a vet.
“Last night, we had gone over our £110 target, I was getting donations left, right and centre to help put him to sleep.
“But, this morning (Tuesday, December 28), I was getting ready to take the squirrel to our local vets. I was loading the car and had the caged squirrel inside a black bin, just in case it tried to escape again.
“Then, out of the blue the RSPCA turned up, they must have got hold of what was happening to people in Buckley.
“I had the squirrel in my hand and I couldn’t not give it to him – he has gone to a local RSPCA vets.
“The handover was frightful. I had to transfer the squirrel from the cage to the RSPCA in my bathroom – we couldn’t risk it escaping outdoors again.
“It was quite funny, we were on our knees in the bathroom on the floor trying to do the handover. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life.
“It probably went to Wrexham RSPCA, but I am not 100 per cent. I explained what the squirrel had done to people in the area.
“He didn’t say what they were going to do with it – whether they are going to investigate or put it to sleep.
“He did say with incidents like these, there could be an underlying issue – I suspected a tumour or growth which may have affected his brain.
“As it is a wild animal, I think it is standard procedure to check.
“But, as funny as this story may seem, it is a welcome relief. I feel it is now safe to go in my garden.
“It has not been nice for me, and others, to scan their garden before they can even go out.
“If I want to clean my rabbit out, I had to let all four of my dogs out first. It has been quite a scary time for the area.
“The amount of messages I have had from people offering to help has been quite amazing – they are grateful that I captured it. A lot of good has come out of this.
“I did feel incredibly harsh doing what I did, by putting it in a cage, but when people didn’t feel safe in their garden, I had to do it.
“We were not safe. But it is all over now, thank God. A few people in Buckley are certainly breathing a sigh of relief.”
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