Bobby Sunshine reports on the heartbreaking plight of this country's most neglected class.
Good evening. I'm Bobby Sunshine, and I'm here to bring to light one of the most tragic stories of this century.
Recently, It has been noticed that more squirrels have been showing up dead on and around highways than in recent past. The number of reported fatalities has doubled, and who knows how many go unreported. I wanted answers.
I went to talk with famed mammal behaviorist, Dr. Elmo T. Pinholster, at Wattsa Matta U. Dr. Pinholster said that the deaths, despite their appearances, were not murder, but suicide! According to Dr. Pinholster, squirrels have become more depressed by humans encroaching on their living space. Having no squirrel pyschologists in rural areas, country squirrels deem suicide the only way out. City squirrels, despite the increase in squirrel pyschologists, are similarly suicidal.
I asked Dr. Pinholster what, if anything, could be done to prevent such a large number of squirrels from committing suicide. Dr. Pinholster said that the squirrels view the world as hopeless, due to the diminishing number of nut bearing trees, the increase in predatory felines and large numbers of automobiles.
From Wattsa Matt U., I travelled to Rattle Snake Junction, Wyoming to speak with world renowned squirrel psychologist, Dr. Dick Shaker. Dr. Shaker said that male squirrels were usually the most likely to commit suicide because they could no longer provide for their families. Even in the cities, where squirrel feeding stations are located, male squirrels suffer from more acute depression than country squirrels.
According to Dr. Shaker, male city squirrels feel emasculated by the feeding stations, fostering feelings of inferiority and worthlessness. They view suicide as the only way out of their misery, according to the good doctor. Country squirrels, on the other hand, have noted a large increase in outdoor predatory house cats. These cats attack and often kill squirrel children.
Dr. Shaker presented such a heart rending view of the situation, I decided to interview a couple of the widows of these tragic incidents. In Cartersville, Georgia, I met and talked with Mrs. Harry Squirrel. Her husband committed suicide this past April. Mrs. Squirrel stated that her husband, Harry, had been feeling depressed since a cat had invaded their home and killed two of their children. According to Mrs. Squirrel, Harry attempted to distract the cat by biting it's tail. Mrs. Squirrel said that the way the cat toyed with their children before killing two of the three children slowly eroded Harry's confidence in himself, which led to the suicide. Although I searched the area, I was unable to locate the cat responsible for the murders. When I interviewed neighboring cats, they proclaimed "No Comment" in unison. It's seems that cats of a feather stick together, too.
Finally, this led me to the city of New York, where I was able to speak with another widow, who asked not to be identified. This young woman, who I will call A. Squirrel, said that her husband had been sick recently. He was suffering from acute carbon monoxide poisoning. A. Squirrel said that her husband contracted the disease by roaming the periphery of Central Park while begging for food for his four children, wife and himself. As his condition became worse, her husband decided to end it all, rather than have their children see him die. He darted in traffic and was hit by a bus.
Each of these tragic stories didn't need to happen. In fact, none of them did. It seems that humankind has not been sensitive to the plight of squirrels. I call for a moratorium on squirrel suicides. If you see a squirrel who you think may be in a fragile state of mind, remind the squirrel that his problems can be solved.Squirrel depression hotlines are in the process of being opened and we hope that all depressed squirrels take advantage of them.
This national tragedy must come to an end. We will end up with a whole generation of squirrels that grow up without a father. This is heart breaking. For now, all we can do is spread the word. We're hopeful that we can end this tragedy before it becomes worse.
For Channel 69 Action News, I'm Bobby Sunshine saying Good Night and Squirrel Lives Matter!