"Grey Squirrel Mafia does dirty deal to ensure destruction of Red Squirrels"

News from the Natural World: The notorious Grey Squirrel Mafia has done a dirty deal to ensure the destruction of Red Squirrels.

News from the Natural World: The notorious Grey Squirrel Mafia has done a dirty deal to ensure the destruction of Red Squirrels.

The Platypus can exclusively reveal that the Grey Squirrels have officially been up to no good. For decades there had been reports of foulplay and criminal activity but this is the first time we have concrete evidence. The dispute between Grey and Red Squirrels started almost 200 years ago. Red Squirrels are native to the British Isles and have made it their home for over 10,000 years. However, Grey Squirrels were introduced to the UK from the USA by Victorian explorers in the early 19th century. The first recorded established wild colony of Grey Squirrels was in 1876.

Grey Squirrel Red Squirrels
Grey Squirrel bad news for Red Squirrels

Immediately there was beef between the two squirrel species. They just didn’t get along. The problem was that the Greys were more aggressive and could compete more successfully for habitat and food. Also they were bigger, stronger and could eat young green acorns which destroyed the Reds natural source of food before they could eat them. Reds simply couldn’t digest the more mature acorns so were being beaten to a pulp.

Grey Squirrel mafia out to destroy Red Squirrels

It was around the mid 20th century when the first squirrel mafias formed. The Grey Squirrels first wanted to send a message. So they started leaving rotten acorns in the beds of the Red Squirrels. The Reds would come home from work to find a rotten and decaying acorn under their sheets. This tactic of intimidation alongside their natural superiority had meant that Red Squirrel numbers had plumeteted to as low as 10,000 whilst Grey Squirrels had rocketed to 2.4 million. But no one could imagine the horror that The Platypus would discover next.

The Grey squirrels unleashed a Squirrelpox virus which would only kill red squirrels. Once infected the virus causes skin ulcers, lesions, and scabs. It can also cause swelling and discharge and many red squirrels would die of starvation or dehydration. The mortality rate for untreated infected red squirrels in the wild appears to be 100% with most dying within 15 days of being infected.  It was originally believed this was an act of terror committed only by the Grey Squirrels but they had an accomplice.

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