Thursday, August 6, 2009

Britian invaded by killer breakfast-food-stealing chipmunks


In the US we think of chipmunks as just the cutest little guys. It probably doesn't even cross most people's minds that they are rodents, related to the reviled rat and mouse.

But the British know better. Siberian chipmunks have become an invasive species in Europe. And we're not talking "invasive" as in "lots of them in some woods I never see somewhere, oh isn't that too bad." We're talking HOME INVASION.

THE SUN - A killer chipmunk terrorised a family by invading their kitchen and munching their Crunchy Nut Cornflakes.

Horrified trucker Bryan Foreman, 50, found the critter with its head in the cereal box.

He and wife Susan fear the rodent is one of the vicious Siberian chipmunks which The Sun last week warned were set to invade Britain.

The creature left Bryan and Susan's two cats shaking - and they and the family's dog now can't go into the garden.

Mum-of-four Susan, 44, from the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, said: "It was terrifying. I've never seen anything like it.

"We could hear it banging about in the kitchen and when my husband went in it had its head in the cereal and was munching away.

"He shouted and it ran back out into the garden.

"We think it had a good go at whatever else it found in the cupboards as well.

"My cats are traumatised. We're too scared to let them out in case it's still lurking."

French naturalist Guy Bruel, who issued one of the first Siberian chipmunk alerts, is sure the rodent was one of them.

He warned that other people could find unwelcome guests as the pesky invaders start to get hungry.

The animals can be infected with deadly Lyme disease, which hits the nervous system. They can also carry rabies.

Guy said: "They will stop at nothing to get what they want. This includes sneaking into people's homes to have a nibble of food.

"They look cuddly and harmless, and this makes them particularly dangerous. If startled they can give a nasty nip, especially when cornered."

Susan first spotted the chipmunk in her garden running along the fence. It later made its way into the house by brazenly jumping on the cats' den.

She added: "Usually the cats are really playful but now they're very quiet and reclusive. I don't know what it did to scare them so badly."


More sensationalist chipmunk coverage from The Sun here, or just try the search here to see what's new, because The Sun is on top of this story.


Deceptively adorable chipmunk by Flickr user wwarby.

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