December 3 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 53  

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Squirrel invaders at King's rez behave better than students?

By Eric Johanssen
Gazette Staff

Crazy party animals at King’s College aren’t the only form of wildlife running around residences these days.

According to a number of residents on the basement floor of the Alumni Court residence at King’s, the past few days have been graced by a number of surprise visits from squirrels living nearby.

Paula Perri, a first-year social science student, said she believes the visits were due in part to an excessive amount of heat coming from the rooms. “It’s so hot, residents need to [keep their windows open],” Perri said, adding the squirrels came in through the open windows.

The squirrels may also have become humanized within the community, possibly because they are being fed, Perri noted. “In Hamilton, the squirrels will dart the other way if you go near them; at King’s, they’re not afraid of anything, and it’s really annoying.”

Stephanie Horak, a first-year general arts student at King’s, has had the closest encounter with the little critters. “I walked into my room on Sunday and found a squirrel sitting under my desk. It ran out through a hole it had chewed into the [window] screen,” she said, adding the hole was later repaired with duct tape.

Horak said that later that night, her roommate awoke to find another squirrel (and thankfully, not the naked masturbator) sitting at her bedside. The squirrel had chewed a hole into the duct tape in order to enter the room.
“[The squirrels are] probably the best behaved residents on campus,” said Michael O’Sullivan, executive director of the Humane Society of Canada.

O’Sullivan attributed the recent visits to the squirrels’ need for food and shelter at this time of year. “We will always have wildlife with us; [the squirrels] were here before us and we need to learn to co-exist with them as peacefully as possible — you can’t just wave a magic wand and get rid of all the wildlife,” he said.

Maria Vettese, a residence advisor on the floor, said steps have been taken to contact appropriate technicians to deal with the problem of excessive heat in the rooms. “[The reason for the visits] is because it’s warm [in the rooms] and people have food,” she said.

Despite the recent invasions by the furry little friends, residents have not become discouraged. “We still love King’s [and] we’ll stay,” Horak proclaimed.



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