Possible Rabid Squirrel Sighting Near Tompkins Square Park Paralyzes City

December 1, 2014 | Kyle Chayka

A concerned New Yorker observed a suspicious squirrel this morning in Tompkins Square Park. And since she saw something, she went ahead and said something.

But after “getting the runaround” when calling 311, she reached out to EV Grieve to amplify her warning siren:

Saw a black squirrel in Tompkins Square Park playground acting very aggressively and making a horrible growling sound. Never heard a squirrel making any noise before.

It was perched on a branch of a tree in the playground by Avenue A and 9th Street. It would sit perched on a branch wheezing/growling and breathing rapidly, then run off rapidly and return to same branch and repeat same growl.

According to the Humane Society, rabid squirrels aren’t very common.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that squirrels suffering from a fatal roundworm brain parasite often display rabies-like symptoms.

The upshot? The squirrel may or MAY NOT be a threat. Someone needs to volunteer to be bitten so we can know more. You know, for SCIENCE.

(Photo: John Cotter)