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A gray fox squirrel has leapt from trees and entered classrooms and garages to attack EIGHT people in the Marin County town of Novato, all in the last two weeks! The Marin Humane Society is in hot pursuit! Since all of the attacks have occurred between Sutra Avenue and Vineyard Road, a single squirrel appears to be responsible! The Contra Costa Times says:

“The fact is, we want people to stay calm,” said Lisa Bloch, Marin Humane Society spokeswoman. “It’s probably just one squirrel and a really unique situation.”

The biting and scratching attacks began three weeks ago when a squirrel reportedly leapt from a tree and onto a man’s head as he did yard work on Nov. 13. He was treated at Novato Community Hospital for his injuries. In another attack five days later, a squirrel entered a classroom at Pleasant Valley Elementary School on Sutro Avenue and attacked a student. As a teacher attempted to flee from the room, she too was attacked, according to the humane society officials.
The behavior of the squirrel is far from normal, because squirrels are naturally afraid of humans. The Humane Society recommends that residents never FEED wild animals, to discourage the animals from becoming too comfortable around humans. The Contra Costa Times describes the most recent attack:

Richard Williams, 78, had the most recently reported entanglement with the squirrel. On the day after Thanksgiving, Williams said he was working on small tasks around his garage, off of Vineyard Road, when he looked up to see a gray squirrel scampering towards him.

“He jumped me three or four different times,” Williams said Wednesday. “I got him off my shoulder the first time. He was clinging pretty hard. When I got him off, my hand and arm were torn up. When I got him off, he’d get back on.”

Williams said his wife, Norma Williams, alarmed by his screams, ran out into the garage with a broom. The squirrel then began to attack her, he said.

Williams managed to grab the squirrel by its tail and threw it to the ground. The squirrel, dazed and in a stupor, then ran off, he said.

Williams said his right arm, hand and leg were injured in the incident, along with his lip and head. His glasses were also broken during the scuffle.

“It was just a mad scramble. I was up and down on the garage floor. It was quite an experience,” he said.

Williams’ wife was more fortunate. She was wearing a jacket during the incident and was only scratched on her shoulders, he said. The couple received both vaccines for tetanus and rabies at Novato Community Hospital.

Although the behavior of the squirrel is very unusual, Humane Society officials say that people should not generally worry about aggressive squirrels running around Marin County.

-Bill at

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