Fifty Six cases of bubonic plague (it is now treatable with antibiotics) and seven deaths were recorded in the US between 2000 and 2009, and squirrels harboring the infected fleas were among the main culprits.
Squirrels are clever, and can learn to navigate numerous obstacles to find the most efficient route to food.
They will find a dead rattlesnake, chew its skin, and then lick themselves. This leaves the squirrels smelling like snakes, and scientists believes this tricks animals into thinking that the squirrels’ burrows are actually home to snakes.
Squirrels store nuts and acorns for winter, because they do not hibernate. Also, because they bury their acorns, squirrels are partially responsible for oak trees in much of the US.
Hungry squirrels have been observed scoring a maple tree’s bark with their teeth, letting the sap leak, and returning to lick it later when it’s dried up.
Squirrels’ tunnels can exceed 9 meters (30 ft) in length.