Watford and Garston fire crews 'bruised and despondent' after worldwide squirrel rescue coverage

Fire crews 'bruised and despondent' after worldwide squirrel coverage

Fire crews 'bruised and despondent' after worldwide squirrel coverage

Fire crews 'bruised and despondent' after worldwide squirrel coverage

Fire crews 'bruised and despondent' after worldwide squirrel coverage

Fire crews 'bruised and despondent' after worldwide squirrel coverage

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A senior Watford firefighter has spoken of his and his crews’ frustration at being vilified and accused of wasting public money after photos of them rescuing a squirrel from the pond in The Parade circulated around the world.

Crews from Watford and Garston were called to the town centre on Sunday afternoon after a 999 caller indicated people were climbing into the water feature.

However, upon reaching the pond the crews discovered only a squirrel, and one of the three appliances remained to coax the frightened mammal to safety.

Photos taken by firefighter Ian Davies and uploaded onto the HertsFirePhotos Twitter account, were used by several national newspapers in this country as well as media organisations as far away as Australia, Spain and America alongside less than favourable comment implying the rescue was a waste of money.

Station commander for Watford and Three Rivers, Jon Horastead said: "Seeing those photos go around the world has been absolutely horrifying.

"The watch involved are feeling very bruised and despondent that the actions they have taken have been presented in this way.

"The original call came through from the police saying two people were climbing over a ladder to try and rescue an animal.

"The only additional cost to the taxpayer is for us to get to the town centre and the crews were there for a total of 21 minutes.

"We do not normally attend animal rescues unless we are contacted by the RSPCA and had there been another call at any point we would have gone directly to that."

Many in the town have leapt to the defence of their fire fighters with some even visiting the station to show their support.

Watford Mayor Dorothy Thornhill also spoke out in defence of them, saying she did not believe the coverage the photos received was a fair portrayal of their work.

She said: "The fire crew were told it was a woman with a ladder trying to get the squirrel out of the pond.

"I don’t think the coverage they have got has been at all fair. Imagine if they had got the same call but hadn’t come out and someone had gone in and been injured.

"In this case they were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t."

Comments (30)

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11:55am Fri 11 Jan 13

mmrobb says...

oh tell them to sod off!!! if it was a dog or a cat would they still say the same.

I congratulate you for being so kind and thoughtful.

those that moaned prob don';t work at all. maybe shoudl spend more time looking for a job which the tax payers are paying for!!!!!!!
oh tell them to sod off!!! if it was a dog or a cat would they still say the same. I congratulate you for being so kind and thoughtful. those that moaned prob don';t work at all. maybe shoudl spend more time looking for a job which the tax payers are paying for!!!!!!! mmrobb
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Fri 11 Jan 13

TRT says...

Yes, the words "woman", "bridge", "pond" and "nuts" are enough to set all kinds of alarm bells ringing.
Yes, the words "woman", "bridge", "pond" and "nuts" are enough to set all kinds of alarm bells ringing. TRT
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Fri 11 Jan 13

JohnnyHornet says...

Well was there any other emergency going on at the time that required their services ??, if not it's a good training exercise even if it was a squirrel the same set up would be required if it were a small child or animal, good on the fire service, and a big new years "F U" to those who make light of it.
Well was there any other emergency going on at the time that required their services ??, if not it's a good training exercise even if it was a squirrel the same set up would be required if it were a small child or animal, good on the fire service, and a big new years "F U" to those who make light of it. JohnnyHornet
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Fri 11 Jan 13

The Rover says...

A lot of fuss over nothing!

As long as there were no other emergencies at the same time what harm has been done? Consider it a training exercise. If the fire engines and personnel were not there they would have been at the station waiting for a call, so the cost is not £6000 at all. The cost is probably no more than a few litres of fuel to get there.
A lot of fuss over nothing! As long as there were no other emergencies at the same time what harm has been done? Consider it a training exercise. If the fire engines and personnel were not there they would have been at the station waiting for a call, so the cost is not £6000 at all. The cost is probably no more than a few litres of fuel to get there. The Rover
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Pity they didn't let the squirrel drown, along with perhaps a few of the drunk passers-by! Squirrels are only tree rats, after all, and not terribly hygienic to humans. I make no comment on the inebriated onlookers.

There's far too much nonsense in this country about wildlife, especially among sentimental, soppy animal lovers who see all rabbits as fluffy bunnies and squirrels as Squirrel Nutkin, though both species carry diseases. I blame Walt Disney and Beatrix Potter!
Pity they didn't let the squirrel drown, along with perhaps a few of the drunk passers-by! Squirrels are only tree rats, after all, and not terribly hygienic to humans. I make no comment on the inebriated onlookers. There's far too much nonsense in this country about wildlife, especially among sentimental, soppy animal lovers who see all rabbits as fluffy bunnies and squirrels as Squirrel Nutkin, though both species carry diseases. I blame Walt Disney and Beatrix Potter! Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Watfordengineer says...

totally agree with JohnnyHornet. It is a live training exercise. granted with a squirrel.
I'm sure it was initially good for moral!
totally agree with JohnnyHornet. It is a live training exercise. granted with a squirrel. I'm sure it was initially good for moral! Watfordengineer
  • Score: 0

1:00pm Fri 11 Jan 13

TRT says...

Talking of moral, having the firechief go to the press to make a statement along the lines of "Actually, we are a bunch of heartless b***ards really, you know. If we'd have known it was only a squirrel in trouble, we wouldn't have bothered." must do much more damage, no?
Talking of moral, having the firechief go to the press to make a statement along the lines of "Actually, we are a bunch of heartless b***ards really, you know. If we'd have known it was only a squirrel in trouble, we wouldn't have bothered." must do much more damage, no? TRT
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Fri 11 Jan 13

TRT says...

Morale. Sorry.
Morale. Sorry. TRT
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Fri 11 Jan 13

crazyfrog says...

As much as i dislike squirrells,
i think Herts Fire Service did exactly the right thing!!! if anything its good training for the fire fighters, and shows a compassionate side to the service, I would prefer to see the firefighters out on calls like this than siting in a fire station just waitiung for the phone to ring, iam sure if an emergency call had been placed during the 21 minutes they were at the scene no doubt they would of left the furry blighter to his own devices, and jumped in their fire engine and no need to get suited and booted so would probably of got to another emergency call probably quicker ! iam a Herts Taxpayer and am very happy with Herts fire service!
As much as i dislike squirrells, i think Herts Fire Service did exactly the right thing!!! if anything its good training for the fire fighters, and shows a compassionate side to the service, I would prefer to see the firefighters out on calls like this than siting in a fire station just waitiung for the phone to ring, iam sure if an emergency call had been placed during the 21 minutes they were at the scene no doubt they would of left the furry blighter to his own devices, and jumped in their fire engine and no need to get suited and booted so would probably of got to another emergency call probably quicker ! iam a Herts Taxpayer and am very happy with Herts fire service! crazyfrog
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Fri 11 Jan 13

MarsLander says...

Hear Hear Crazyfrog. Maybe you're not so crazy after all.
Hear Hear Crazyfrog. Maybe you're not so crazy after all. MarsLander
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Maceo & Fred says...

Love the comment from Mayor Thornhill about that she did not believe the coverage the photos received was a fair portrayal of their work. The same can be said of the Mayors portrayal of the proposed closure of Farm Terrace Allotments.
Love the comment from Mayor Thornhill about that she did not believe the coverage the photos received was a fair portrayal of their work. The same can be said of the Mayors portrayal of the proposed closure of Farm Terrace Allotments. Maceo & Fred
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Fri 11 Jan 13

phil mitchel says...

Trust Thornhill to jump on the band wagon in typical libdem style. She certainly missed a photo oportunity there, she needs a serious chat with her PR advisor.
Trust Thornhill to jump on the band wagon in typical libdem style. She certainly missed a photo oportunity there, she needs a serious chat with her PR advisor. phil mitchel
  • Score: 0

4:01pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Did anyone think to ask the squirrel whether it voted LibDem or not?
Did anyone think to ask the squirrel whether it voted LibDem or not? Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

There is a moral to this story somewhere. Smaller problems are easier to solve than big problems - think Wat Junction.
There is a moral to this story somewhere. Smaller problems are easier to solve than big problems - think Wat Junction. Mohandas
  • Score: 0

9:58pm Fri 11 Jan 13

HertsPeter says...

Does Dotty have any phrases other than "they were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t." She trots it out every time she is expected to have an opinion on something?!??!
Does Dotty have any phrases other than "they were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t." She trots it out every time she is expected to have an opinion on something?!??! HertsPeter
  • Score: 0

2:13am Sat 12 Jan 13

Phil Drackley says...

Firemen are famed all over the world for rescuing animals caught in precarious situations. Granted, three vehicles was a bit of overkill, but if the original caller had been clearer, an appropriate response would have resulted. There clearly was a danger to the public - I think we need a bridge over it. ;)
Firemen are famed all over the world for rescuing animals caught in precarious situations. Granted, three vehicles was a bit of overkill, but if the original caller had been clearer, an appropriate response would have resulted. There clearly was a danger to the public - I think we need a bridge over it. ;) Phil Drackley
  • Score: 0

2:43am Sat 12 Jan 13

John Dowdle says...

Well done, the Watford fire and rescue service. I heard about it on Radio 4's Today programme.
The reason other parts of the world may have responded negatively to the reported rescue is because they are much harsher in attitude when it comes to wild animals.
I oppose animal cruelty of any kind, especially hunting of them, and I take pride that our local fire and rescue workers displayed care and concern for a small animal. It marks out our essential humanity to all the world.
Well done, the Watford fire and rescue service. I heard about it on Radio 4's Today programme. The reason other parts of the world may have responded negatively to the reported rescue is because they are much harsher in attitude when it comes to wild animals. I oppose animal cruelty of any kind, especially hunting of them, and I take pride that our local fire and rescue workers displayed care and concern for a small animal. It marks out our essential humanity to all the world. John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

8:33am Sat 12 Jan 13

Robbie C says...

Full respect to the Watford and Garston fire crews. Surely anyone who has read the story beyond purely just scanning the headline and seeing a picture will understand their actions are fully justifiable. They were at the scene anyway and it was a humane response to assist the squirrel. I wonder if the people criticising them would have said exactly the same if the fire crews had left the squirrel to a grimmer fate. Can't win with some people.
Full respect to the Watford and Garston fire crews. Surely anyone who has read the story beyond purely just scanning the headline and seeing a picture will understand their actions are fully justifiable. They were at the scene anyway and it was a humane response to assist the squirrel. I wonder if the people criticising them would have said exactly the same if the fire crews had left the squirrel to a grimmer fate. Can't win with some people. Robbie C
  • Score: 0

10:30am Sat 12 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Not everyone finds squirrels attractive and cuddly! Try cuddling one and you'd be left with a very nasty bite requiring immediate hospital treatment.

Ask anyone who has a splendid garden if they like squirrels and await a brusque reply. I have a friend whose husband's hobby is drowning squirrels because they cause so much damage to his beloved garden.

I repeat: squirrels are vermin and pests, along with foxes, wild rabbits and pigeons. All offer health dangers to humans. Unfortunately, too many people in this country fall for all the touchy feely, cuddly-wuddly rubbish about animals and see them all as characters with human characteristics in Disney films and Beatrix Potter books.

Grey squirrels are interlopers from North America and almost wiped out our own British species of red squirrels, which once survived only on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour but are now, thankfully, being reintroduced into parts of Scotland and the North of England where there have been many sightings and also, I believe, Cornwall. See a number of websites about reintroducing and breeding red squirrels. Anyone who truly cares for animals should be supporting this work and not worrying about one grey squirrel which could easily have been left to drown, making one less. I'd like to see the grey squirrel exterminated and our indigenous red squirrels making a comeback.
Not everyone finds squirrels attractive and cuddly! Try cuddling one and you'd be left with a very nasty bite requiring immediate hospital treatment. Ask anyone who has a splendid garden if they like squirrels and await a brusque reply. I have a friend whose husband's hobby is drowning squirrels because they cause so much damage to his beloved garden. I repeat: squirrels are vermin and pests, along with foxes, wild rabbits and pigeons. All offer health dangers to humans. Unfortunately, too many people in this country fall for all the touchy feely, cuddly-wuddly rubbish about animals and see them all as characters with human characteristics in Disney films and Beatrix Potter books. Grey squirrels are interlopers from North America and almost wiped out our own British species of red squirrels, which once survived only on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour but are now, thankfully, being reintroduced into parts of Scotland and the North of England where there have been many sightings and also, I believe, Cornwall. See a number of websites about reintroducing and breeding red squirrels. Anyone who truly cares for animals should be supporting this work and not worrying about one grey squirrel which could easily have been left to drown, making one less. I'd like to see the grey squirrel exterminated and our indigenous red squirrels making a comeback. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Mohandas says...

The introduction of grey squirrels which like much of human behaviour (eg the demise of book shops) seems to be about the survival of the strongest led to calls for protection of the red as a special category like a minority group which needs protection from the strong dominant group. Interference by PC tokenistic window dressing politicians seem always to be piecemeal and artificial and often not done with the best of intentions and hence unacceptabe costs eg light touch regulations for the City, our EU interactions.
The introduction of grey squirrels which like much of human behaviour (eg the demise of book shops) seems to be about the survival of the strongest led to calls for protection of the red as a special category like a minority group which needs protection from the strong dominant group. Interference by PC tokenistic window dressing politicians seem always to be piecemeal and artificial and often not done with the best of intentions and hence unacceptabe costs eg light touch regulations for the City, our EU interactions. Mohandas
  • Score: 0

2:17pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Regular readers of this site will know that I give way to no-one in being bitterly opposed to political correctness!

However, I believe red squirrels are probably more deserving of being specially protected than most humans who perceive themselves to be in a minority group and bore us all with their constant bleating and whining about it.

Red squirrels do not know themselves to be an endangered species under threat of extinction from grey squirrels.

Humans who bleat about their alleged oppression as racial/sexual minorities, or whatever, are rational thinking beings who are frequently just using their perceived handicap to curry favour and public sympathy and gain an advantage from it.
Regular readers of this site will know that I give way to no-one in being bitterly opposed to political correctness! However, I believe red squirrels are probably more deserving of being specially protected than most humans who perceive themselves to be in a minority group and bore us all with their constant bleating and whining about it. Red squirrels do not know themselves to be an endangered species under threat of extinction from grey squirrels. Humans who bleat about their alleged oppression as racial/sexual minorities, or whatever, are rational thinking beings who are frequently just using their perceived handicap to curry favour and public sympathy and gain an advantage from it. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

12:07am Sun 13 Jan 13

Insanity 750 aka Smeagol says...

Mohandas wrote:
There is a moral to this story somewhere. Smaller problems are easier to solve than big problems - think Wat Junction.
Mohandas, you're right. I am Sanity 750's alter ego. I keep thinking everyone is Malcolm, even you. How can you help me? Can anyone help me? How do I revive the WCA?

At the moment the soggy squirrel of Watford has a better chance of getting elected as a Councillor than me?

Should I dress up as a Red Squirrel, since it seems to be a minority group and then run a campaign for Councillor? or will they label me as a paper candidate?

Where is Malcolm? He is everywhere and everyone. I will keep posting responses to people that I think are Malcolm ........ I want to be Malcolm ....... I want to be ...... loved ........ I want to be the soggy squirrel!
[quote][p][bold]Mohandas[/bold] wrote: There is a moral to this story somewhere. Smaller problems are easier to solve than big problems - think Wat Junction.[/p][/quote]Mohandas, you're right. I am Sanity 750's alter ego. I keep thinking everyone is Malcolm, even you. How can you help me? Can anyone help me? How do I revive the WCA? At the moment the soggy squirrel of Watford has a better chance of getting elected as a Councillor than me? Should I dress up as a Red Squirrel, since it seems to be a minority group and then run a campaign for Councillor? or will they label me as a paper candidate? Where is Malcolm? He is everywhere and everyone. I will keep posting responses to people that I think are Malcolm ........ I want to be Malcolm ....... I want to be ...... loved ........ I want to be the soggy squirrel! Insanity 750 aka Smeagol
  • Score: 0

9:43am Sun 13 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

What on earth has a serious debate deteriorated into, and not for the first time?

I find the last messages from Mohandas and Smeagol more or less unintelligible, but all I can assume is that it has descended into name-calling by people who presumably know the identities of people who lie behind the silly names they use.

This is why I am proud to be virtually the only one who actually contributes under my real name (John Dowdle being another honourable exception). I am fairly rapidly becoming disillusioned with the Internet as a medium of communication when it allows people to post behind false identities and pseudonyms. If I had my way I would insist that everyone uses their real name or they wouldn't be allowed to post.

To be frank, I find those who haven't the courage to post in their own names slightly pathetic. Newspapers, however, old-fashioned they might seem in the "brave new age" of the Internet, normally insisted that writers of letters to the editor give their real, full names unless there was a very good reason for hiding them. With the Internet now running riot and more or less unpoliceable, it seems that anyone can be their own publisher and publish whatever garbage they like and no-one can touch them because no-one knows who they are.

I am a champion of freedom of speech but it seems to me that the anarchy of the Internet is destroying that concept.
What on earth has a serious debate deteriorated into, and not for the first time? I find the last messages from Mohandas and Smeagol more or less unintelligible, but all I can assume is that it has descended into name-calling by people who presumably know the identities of people who lie behind the silly names they use. This is why I am proud to be virtually the only one who actually contributes under my real name (John Dowdle being another honourable exception). I am fairly rapidly becoming disillusioned with the Internet as a medium of communication when it allows people to post behind false identities and pseudonyms. If I had my way I would insist that everyone uses their real name or they wouldn't be allowed to post. To be frank, I find those who haven't the courage to post in their own names slightly pathetic. Newspapers, however, old-fashioned they might seem in the "brave new age" of the Internet, normally insisted that writers of letters to the editor give their real, full names unless there was a very good reason for hiding them. With the Internet now running riot and more or less unpoliceable, it seems that anyone can be their own publisher and publish whatever garbage they like and no-one can touch them because no-one knows who they are. I am a champion of freedom of speech but it seems to me that the anarchy of the Internet is destroying that concept. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

10:46am Sun 13 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

Go Roy Stockdill, champion of freedom of speech for the soggy squirrel.

Of course people are reduced to name calling. How much further can one 'rinse' out of a story about a soggy squirrel?

Perhaps the Internet and pseudonyms are the 'bad man' of our time, but who really cares. The Guardian has moderators who delete off-topic feedback, regardless of the pseudonym being used. If Sanity 750 had posted his 'you are Malcolm' statements on the Guardian, they would have been deleted for going off-topic, as would your posting for that matter.

You are my superhero Roy Stockdill, 'Captain FOS' (Freedom of Speech). The Man of Fur, faster than a speeding squirrel, fighting for cyber justice on the WO postings.

Come on, how serious can one get over a story about a soggy squirrel?

If this were a serious story, I might see your point. However, postings would be dry and virtually non-existent. Lighten-up.
Go Roy Stockdill, champion of freedom of speech for the soggy squirrel. Of course people are reduced to name calling. How much further can one 'rinse' out of a story about a soggy squirrel? Perhaps the Internet and pseudonyms are the 'bad man' of our time, but who really cares. The Guardian has moderators who delete off-topic feedback, regardless of the pseudonym being used. If Sanity 750 had posted his 'you are Malcolm' statements on the Guardian, they would have been deleted for going off-topic, as would your posting for that matter. You are my superhero Roy Stockdill, 'Captain FOS' (Freedom of Speech). The Man of Fur, faster than a speeding squirrel, fighting for cyber justice on the WO postings. Come on, how serious can one get over a story about a soggy squirrel? If this were a serious story, I might see your point. However, postings would be dry and virtually non-existent. Lighten-up. Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

11:10am Sun 13 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Well, I was perfectly serious when I said that in my view the squirrel should either have been left to drown or make its own way out of the pond. I thought the debate was supposed to be serious, or at least semi-serious, about whether or not the fire brigade should have been called.

I occasionally post to The Guardian and, as far as I recall, I have never had any comment deleted - and I post there in my own name also.

I am indeed a champion of free speech, but in my honest opinion there are some people who are intellectually and educationally unfit to be allowed the liberty of freedom of speech - and some of them are on this website! I exclude you, of course, Razor Sharp, because your posts are at least witty.
Well, I was perfectly serious when I said that in my view the squirrel should either have been left to drown or make its own way out of the pond. I thought the debate was supposed to be serious, or at least semi-serious, about whether or not the fire brigade should have been called. I occasionally post to The Guardian and, as far as I recall, I have never had any comment deleted - and I post there in my own name also. I am indeed a champion of free speech, but in my honest opinion there are some people who are intellectually and educationally unfit to be allowed the liberty of freedom of speech - and some of them are on this website! I exclude you, of course, Razor Sharp, because your posts are at least witty. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

That's very generous of you Roy.

There is always space for different perspectives, so long as they do not become repetitive and boring like Sanity 750 aka mkhan and his sidekick bluesky1, who seem to have it in for Malcolm, who as far as I am informed, has not posted here. Even if he did, I suspect the postings would be rather formal, informative and controlled.

As far as the squirrel is concerned, how many of us can bear to watch an animal, even a rodent with a tail, suffer, especially in such a public fashion, with young children walking by. Had it been in a secluded part of Cassiobury Park, I suspect it would have been a different matter. Not everything can be evaluated in cost terms, sometimes human nature takes over.

In this respect, I support the Fire Service's decision. How many times are they called out to false alarms? That wastes money as well.

For once, I agree with Dotty.
That's very generous of you Roy. There is always space for different perspectives, so long as they do not become repetitive and boring like Sanity 750 aka mkhan and his sidekick bluesky1, who seem to have it in for Malcolm, who as far as I am informed, has not posted here. Even if he did, I suspect the postings would be rather formal, informative and controlled. As far as the squirrel is concerned, how many of us can bear to watch an animal, even a rodent with a tail, suffer, especially in such a public fashion, with young children walking by. Had it been in a secluded part of Cassiobury Park, I suspect it would have been a different matter. Not everything can be evaluated in cost terms, sometimes human nature takes over. In this respect, I support the Fire Service's decision. How many times are they called out to false alarms? That wastes money as well. For once, I agree with Dotty. Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

9:14am Mon 14 Jan 13

garston tony says...

If by doing this they had been delayed putting out a fire somewhere else blah blah then some critism would have been understandable. But still wrong as I'm sure they ensure that any delay to attending emergencies is minimised in these sorts of circumstances.

Talk about being blown over the top, the fire crews have done nothing wrong. I'm sure whilst on duty they must train occassionally how to save someone from water/ponds etc. so this is at worst just a training excersise with the added bonus of saving some poor creature.

It’s the moaners and groaners who should be ashamed, it seems that too many people have too little to do
If by doing this they had been delayed putting out a fire somewhere else blah blah then some critism would have been understandable. But still wrong as I'm sure they ensure that any delay to attending emergencies is minimised in these sorts of circumstances. Talk about being blown over the top, the fire crews have done nothing wrong. I'm sure whilst on duty they must train occassionally how to save someone from water/ponds etc. so this is at worst just a training excersise with the added bonus of saving some poor creature. It’s the moaners and groaners who should be ashamed, it seems that too many people have too little to do garston tony
  • Score: 0

9:38am Mon 14 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

An alternative would have been to call in a marksman from the council's pest control department to shoot the squirrel, but that would probably have contravened some law about not discharging a firearm within so many feet of a public highway.

However, I do find the hypocrisy amusing! How many so-called animal lovers worrying about saving this rodent cheerfully tuck into a nice juicy steak, leg of lamb or pork chop? We virtually all also wear shoes made from animal leather.

I also find the sentimental mush about squirrels somewhat illogical. People seem to care about them because they look pretty - as immortalised by Beatrix Potter in Squirrel Nutkin - but how many of those worrying about saving this soggy squirrel would think twice about treading on a cockroach or swatting an annoying fly or wasp, yet they are living creatures too - just not so attractive to look at.
An alternative would have been to call in a marksman from the council's pest control department to shoot the squirrel, but that would probably have contravened some law about not discharging a firearm within so many feet of a public highway. However, I do find the hypocrisy amusing! How many so-called animal lovers worrying about saving this rodent cheerfully tuck into a nice juicy steak, leg of lamb or pork chop? We virtually all also wear shoes made from animal leather. I also find the sentimental mush about squirrels somewhat illogical. People seem to care about them because they look pretty - as immortalised by Beatrix Potter in Squirrel Nutkin - but how many of those worrying about saving this soggy squirrel would think twice about treading on a cockroach or swatting an annoying fly or wasp, yet they are living creatures too - just not so attractive to look at. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

9:56am Mon 14 Jan 13

John Dowdle says...

I very much doubt the council has anyone who can use a firearm - this is not America.
Roy is basically right about the emotional response of people to an animal which people find aesthetically pleasing.
Would the same concern have been shown for a rat? If not, why not? After all, are not squirrels rats with bushy tails?
However, there is also the fact that the animal involved was in distress and in danger of losing its life.
I gain no enjoyment from any life form in distress and if we can help them, then why not do so?
That is what makes us truly human and humane. But - as Roy points out - there are limits to our altruism where most insects are concerned. Would we try to help out a bee in distress?
I very much doubt the council has anyone who can use a firearm - this is not America. Roy is basically right about the emotional response of people to an animal which people find aesthetically pleasing. Would the same concern have been shown for a rat? If not, why not? After all, are not squirrels rats with bushy tails? However, there is also the fact that the animal involved was in distress and in danger of losing its life. I gain no enjoyment from any life form in distress and if we can help them, then why not do so? That is what makes us truly human and humane. But - as Roy points out - there are limits to our altruism where most insects are concerned. Would we try to help out a bee in distress? John Dowdle
  • Score: 0

10:44am Mon 14 Jan 13

Razor Sharp says...

A bee yes, a wasp no. I've been stung too many times by a wasp. We all have different perspectives. I've witnessed squirrels killed by cars, that's life. It's the distress element combined with the aesthetic appearance and a public place that are the active ingredients of a response to rescue the squirrel. Killing it would be justified if it couldn't be rescued.
A bee yes, a wasp no. I've been stung too many times by a wasp. We all have different perspectives. I've witnessed squirrels killed by cars, that's life. It's the distress element combined with the aesthetic appearance and a public place that are the active ingredients of a response to rescue the squirrel. Killing it would be justified if it couldn't be rescued. Razor Sharp
  • Score: 0

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