Russian squirrel pack 'kills dog'

Local people suggest hunger is driving squirrels to extremes.

Squirrels have bitten to death a stray dog which was barking at them in
a Russian park, local media report.

Passers-by were too late to stop the attack by the black squirrels in a
village in the far east, which reportedly lasted about a minute.

They are said to have scampered off at the sight of humans, some
carrying pieces of flesh.

A pine cone shortage may have led the squirrels to seek other food
sources,although scientists are sceptical.

The attack was reported in parkland in the centre of Lazo, a village in
the Maritime Territory, and was witnessed by three local people.

A "big" stray dog was nosing about the trees and barking at squirrels
hiding in branches overhead when a number of them suddenly descended
and attacked, reports say.

"They literally gutted the dog," local journalist Anastasia Trubitsina
told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

"When they saw the men, they scattered in different directions, taking
pieces of their kill away with them."

Mikhail Tiyunov, a scientist in the region, said it was the first he
had ever heard of such an attack.

While squirrels without sources of protein might attack birds' nests,
he said, the idea of them chewing a dog to death was "absurd".

"If it really happened, things must be pretty bad in our forests," he

Komsomolskaya Pravda notes that in a previous incident this autumn
chipmunks terrorised cats in a part of the territory.

A Lazo man who called himself only Mikhalich said there had been "no
pine cones at all" in the local forests this year.

"The little beasts are agitated because they have nothing to eat," he

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