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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Better luck next time bird lovers! Mission Impossible rodent make short work of breaking into 'squirrel proof' feeder


Treasure: The cheeky squirrel has a look round the cage to get to its prize

This is supposed to be a 'squirrel proof' bird feeder, but it didn't out-smart one particularly crafty critter when he turned up in a British garden.

The feeder had flummoxed his friends but this clever creature was determined not to be beaten.

After some careful negotiation of the extraordinary-looking feeder in front of him, the squirrel cracked it by squeezing his fat body through the protective wiring.

His incredible feat was captured on camera by Sandra Carter in her garden in Gosport, Hampshire, who snapped away as he rewarded himself with the bird nuts inside.

The 57-year-old support worker said the grey squirrel had become a regular visitor in recent months.

She and her husband, Richard, 63, invested in the £19.95 Gardman 'squirrel proof' feeders after watching the greedy animal devour the nuts from all their other feeders.

They hoped the space-age looking design, which protects the bird nuts with a wire globe, would be a strong enough deterrent.

But they were stunned when they peered out of the window one day and saw the squirrel had worked his way around it.

Greedy: The cage's manufacturers say the squirrel will soon be too fat to fit between the bars

Ms Carter said: 'This particular squirrel is very greedy and very clever.
'He comes into the garden a dozen times a day to eat from the bird feeders.

'The poor birds hardly get a look in - they just sit in the surrounding trees waiting for him to finish.

'We've tried so many things to stop him - we tried making our own 'squirrel proof' feeders but he always work them out.

'Once we tried hanging bird feeders on wires out of his reach but he managed to get to them by tight-rope walking.

'When we saw a "squirrel proof" feeder on sale we thought it was the answer to all our problems.

Squeeze: The squirrel manages to get its head and body through one of the wider holes in the middle of the cage

'We bought one first to test it and, initially, it seemed to work so we bought another one.

'But I peered out of the window one day and was stunned to see he was inside one of the feeders, eating all the nuts.

'And it wasn't long before he figured out the other one, which contained seeds.
'We thought it would be a little harder for him to feed from because it has a plastic covering.

'But he simply shakes it from side to side until the food comes out of the holes.

'My husband has since tried to put more wire on the outside of both feeders to make the holes smaller but it hasn't worked.' When Ms Carter wrote to Gardman to inform them of what had happened she was refunded the cost of both feeders.

Victory! It manages to squeeze its whole body into the cage to get its reward

She said: 'I wrote to them and said it was perhaps time to go back to the drawing board with the design and they gave me my money back.

'My husband and I have now given up trying to outwit the squirrel.

'It is very frustrating but you can't deny he's a clever little animal and I admire his tenacity.'

Jane Lawler, marketing director at Gardman, said: 'Our squirrel proof feeder is designed to keep squirrels out but to let as many birds as possible into the feeder.

'Very occasionally, some skinnier squirrels squeeze through and with all the extra food this one is eating, it won't fit through the bars for long.'

source: dailymail


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