Cemetery squirrel trappers warned to keep out

A COUNCIL has warned people to stop laying squirrel traps in a cemetery in Sudbury.

Sudbury Town Council, which has responsibility for the cemetery, says it has contacted police after a metal trap with a live grey squirrel inside was discovered on Friday.

Town clerk Sue Brotherwood said: “This is public land that we are responsible for and we will not tolerate squirrels being trapped there. Permission has to be granted by us for any trapping on the site and we certainly have never given that. There are lots of squirrels at the cemetery but we certainly do not want people taking this sort of action.”

The caged squirrel was found by cemetery superintendent Patrick Brotherwood who broke open the trap to release the animal. He said: “I certainly do not want people visiting the cemetery to be confronted with a squirrel in a trap so I’m hoping this will not happen again. I’ve certainly never seen this problem before.”

Mrs Brotherwood said she was concerned that live-trapping of squirrels raised the possibility they were being captured for eating.

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When a Save our Squirrels (SOS) campaign was launched in 2006 to rescue Britain’s native red squirrel from extinction, the rallying cry of the campaign was “Save a red, eat a grey.”

The grey squirrel, which is native to the United States, was introduced to Woburn Abbey in 1867. There are now about two million, but only 160,000 reds. Even the greys are facing an uncertain future, however, with the rapid rise of the black squirrel.

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The black squirrel, a result of a single mutation in the DNA of the greys, already makes up half the squirrel population in some parts of the UK.

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