News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
January 19, 2021
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News + Views

Squirrel Attacks Toddler

By Lisa M. Collins

A two-year-old boy who loves squirrels toddled up to one Thursday morning at Cabrini Park, in the Columbia Waterfront District, while his mother was watching. The squirrel scratched the boy’s face, drawing blood.

Lauren McFarland said she was with her son when “he ran up to the garbage can where the squirrel was sitting.

“Almost before I could register what was happening he was bleeding,” McFarland said. “It happened so quickly.”

McFarland said her son is doing fine. She said her pediatrician told her that squirrels are a low risk for rabies, and a rabies shot isn’t needed.

“Other than watching for an infection and hoping it doesn’t scar there is nothing to be done,” she said. The mom said she was so relieved the squirrel missed her son’s eye.

This particularly aggressive squirrel is known to other parents who visit the park, McFarland said. She said she wants to get the word out to prevent “other squirrel-loving child from being scratched.”

Fearless squirrels — climbing on strollers, begging for food, getting a little too close for comfort — aren’t new in New York City, but they seem to be getting bigger and more aggressive. As the shaken mom said, what happened to her son is a reminder that squirrels can and do attack.

Here’s a video of a squirrel who jumped on a guy city concert

And a story from March about an attack squirrel in Vermont

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