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Zookeepers hunt for squirrels that escaped during Japanese typhoon

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, June 21, 2012 15:46 EDT
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A squirrel sleeps in a tree in March 2012. Zookeepers in Japan were Thursday hunting a group of squirrels that made a break for freedom under cover of a powerful typhoon. (AFP Photo/Sam Greenwood)
 
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Zookeepers in Japan were Thursday hunting a group of squirrels that made a break for freedom under cover of a powerful typhoon.

About 30 of the bushy-tailed creatures saw their chance when typhoon Guchol felled a tree near their enclosure at Tokyo’s Inokashira Park Zoo, cutting a hole in the netting that held them captive.

Park workers used nets and traps to recapture 18 animals over Wednesday and Thursday morning, but were still on the lookout for a determined dozen.

“Today we set traps with pieces of bread and sweet potatoes, the food we usually give them,” zoo spokeswoman Eri Tsushima said.

“They don’t usually attack humans, but they have very sharp front teeth, so we urge people not to chase or tease them.”

Inokashira Park Zoo, in western Tokyo, is near the busy shopping hub of Kichijoji, an area where wild squirrels are not usually found.

The squirrel escape comes a month after the recapture of a Humbolt penguin that spent 82 days at large in and around Tokyo Bay after bolting its aquarium enclosure, garnering a large media following around the world.

Typhoon Guchol raked Japan’s main island of Honshu on Tuesday night, leaving one man dead and injuring 50 people, while badly affecting air, road and rail links.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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