Flying Squirrel Invades New Jersey E.R.

Dec 1, 2011 11:52am

A flying squirrel caused a stir in a New Jersey hospital when it got trapped inside the emergency department.

At about 10 p.m. on Tuesday, the squirrel got inside the emergency department of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Rahway, according to a report in the Newark-based Star-Ledger. The animal scuttled around the emergency room, trying to evade the firefighters who were called in to catch it.

About the size of a chipmunk, flying squirrels have large flaps of skin between their arms and body that they use to glide through the air, rather than flying like a bird or a bat.

“It would climb up on a light and would jump off and glide” to the floor over and over, fire department spokesman Capt. Ted Padavano told the Star-Ledger.

Eventually, the firefighters were able to corral the mammal into a 15-by-15-foot trauma room. After about 10 minutes, they managed to cover the squirrel with a blanket and released it into a wooded area near the hospital.

A hospital spokeswoman said there was no damage to the emergency room and didn’t have an explanation for the hospital’s sudden influx of flying squirrels.

“If you’ve ever had an animal get into your home somehow, then you know it just happens sometimes,” she said.

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