Anti-squirrel sentiment has simmered for years at Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town. When legislation was being considered a year ago to criminalize feeding squirrels in New York City parks, these two apartment complexes decided to jump on the bandwagon and ban squirrel feeding on their properties. Ultimately the NY state legislation did not pass, but at PCV and Stuytown they cited "the law" as they proceeded to ban squirrel feeding on their private property.
It's been a year now since the feeding ban went into effect. The other day I took a walk through the park in the north-east corner of PCV, a place where I used to spend a lot of time before I started to focus my efforts on the area where Lady Gray and Lady Black currently reside. I hadn't been over there for a long time, and I'm sorry to report that I did not see a single squirrel in an area that had once been bustling with squirrels. Where were they? Were they all on lockdown? Or were they all gone? I'm afraid that this is what the majority of PCV residents want: a beautifully landscaped dead park, devoid of living creatures.
One of the main arguments for the externination of the little animals has been that they're a threat children. You see, "squirrels bite babies". The argument goes that by feeding squirrels we encourage them to be aggressive towards children. This meme is a perfect example of how of wild animals don't stand a chance when they come up against the well-being and comfort of humans. The animals never win.
But I have rarely seen an aggressive squirrel. It's not in their nature to be aggressive.
In fact squirrels, who are vegans, are themselves prey rather than predators. As natural prey, they normally keep their distance. In fact they invented social distancing.
The other day I watched a group of young children ganging up on a black squirrel. They were surrounding a few squirrels, screaming at them and chasing them up trees.
But I noticed that one squirrel was standing its ground as they closed in on it. I got closer for a better look and realized to my horror that the squirrel was my own Lady Black. She was getting so aggravated that I feared she might strike back if they got any closer. I attempted to run interferance but the kids paid no attention.
However, Lady Black finally came to her senses and ran off. I could envision a scenario in which she might have clawed or bitten her tormenters if she felt trapped. But this would only have been under extreme provocation and by an unusual squirrel like Lady Black, because most squirrels would instinctively run away. Even when squirrels approach humans for a peanut they tend to be skittish and not get too close. Squirrels are afraid of their own shadows. They will jump two feet in the air at the rustling sound of a plastic bag. So would a squirrel really bite a kid? If that did happen, it would be very rare, not a regular occurrence like they try to claim.
Survivor: The Unsinkable Lady Black