Squirrel Sex is Suddenly a Grey Area


Squirrel Sex is Suddenly a Grey Area

The good news: male birth control has arrived. The bad news: it’s only for squirrels. Researchers are planning to spread infertility throughout the grey squirrel population in Britain in order to allow Britain’s native red squirrels to thrive. 


Currently, there are 140,000 red squirrels and 3 million grey ones. Apparently the grey squirrels are “wreaking havoc” on Britain’s wildlife – whatever that may be…


Grey squirrels were originally brought over from America in the 19th century, which sort of explains why the British hate them so much. They’re all “how could the Americans bring this horrible scourge to our country.” But like, the British brought smallpox and genocide to America.


Note: whose brilliant idea was it to take a grey squirrel across the Atlantic in the first place? Didn’t 19th-century people have better stuff to do than taking squirrels on really long boat rides and oppressing women? 


There’s a lot of really negative rhetoric about grey squirrels right now. Apparently “no tree is safe” from them. Sorry, but how is a tiny squirrel going to take down a whole tree? The propaganda against grey squirrels can only be explained by one thing: squirrel racism. 


Yes, red squirrels are really cute, and they’re characters in Beatrix Potter’s books. Meanwhile, the best a grey squirrel can hope for is a 4 minute part as the incompetent squirrel in Ice Age. 


In fairness, grey squirrels have beady eyes and look kind of like rats. But squirrels shouldn’t be judged by the color of their fur. They should be judged by real things…like how big their nuts are.


The other issue here is the question of choice. Shouldn’t it be a squirrel’s choice to decide whether to procreate or not? Researchers thought that making the squirrels infertile would be a more humane solution than just killing a bunch of them. Tbh, neither seems like a very cool idea. 


Researchers are still divided as to how they will tackle rampant squirrel sex. 


Tiny squirrel condoms? Flat out neutering? Squirrel sex education? If so, who will teach it? 


There are a lot of kinks to work out – and it remains to be seen whether the British government will prioritise finding a ‘final solution’ to the squirrel issue over stopping London stabbings or dealing with Brexit details like finding someone to trade with. 


What the Brits can agree upon is that they want the greys out. They’ve taken enough of the red squirrel jobs, not to mention the burden they present to the NHS. Even Prince Charles, who is actually a patron of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, ordered a “cull” of grey squirrels on his estate. And if Prince Charles did it, it must be a good idea. 

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