Serial squirrel terrorizing residents in Queens

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. denizen / ˈdɛn ə zən / (n.) – an animal, person, or plant that’s often found or lives in a particular place

    Polar bears, seals, and whales are among the denizens of the North Pole.

  2. bruise / bruz / (n.) – an injury that appears as a dark and painful area on the skin

    He had some bruises on his knees after falling off his bicycle.

  3. sink (one’s) teeth into (something) / sɪŋk tiθ ˈɪn tu / (idiom) – to bite or chew something

    The dog sank its teeth into my leg.

  4. unprovoked / ʌn prəˈvəʊkt / (adj.) – done or directed to someone who has not done or said anything wrong

    He said I pushed him first? No way! His attack was totally unprovoked.

  5. go after (someone/something) / goʊ ˈæf tər / (phrasal v.) – to attack a person or an animal

    When the thief entered our backyard, our dogs went after him.


Read the text below.

Residents of a Queens neighborhood are dealing with a squirrelly threat.

Denizens of the New York City borough’s Rego Park neighborhood say an aggressive squirrel has jumped on them and bitten them for several weeks, WCBS-TV reported Dec. 30.

Micheline Frederick pointed to a bruise on her wrist where she said the squirrel landed on her and then sank its teeth into her fingers and hand.

“We’re wrestling in the snow and there’s blood everywhere and my fingers getting chewed and it won’t let go,” Frederick said. “Eventually, it just stopped and there I was, a big bloody mess.”

A photo Frederick says she took after the attack shows a snowy pathway covered in blood.

“This was an MMA cage match! And I lost!” she added.

Two other neighbors told WCBS the squirrel had jumped on them, seemingly unprovoked.

“These squirrels are aggressively going after people,” Vinati Singh said.

The reason for the squirrel’s aggressive behavior is not clear. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The squirrel has violently attacked numerous people. What, if anything, do you think should be done with the squirrel? Why? Discuss.
  • Residents say the attacks were unprovoked. Why do you think the squirrel is acting so aggressively towards people? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What kind of wildlife problems are common in your area (ex. crows eating garbage, bear attacks)? In your mind, how big a problem are they? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think that humans are actually the cause of many “wildlife problems?” Why or why not? Discuss.