Letchworth animal lover calls for action over Hitchin squirrels with no hair

One of the squirrels spotted in Hitchin

One of the squirrels spotted in Hitchin - Credit: Archant

An animal lover has called for the RSPCA to take action following sightings of squirrels with no fur.

The squirrels have been seen in the grounds of St Mary's Church

The squirrels have been seen in the grounds of St Mary's Church - Credit: Archant

Marlene Ogle, from Letchworth GC, first saw the squirrels in the grounds of St Mary’s Church in Hitchin last week.

Mrs Ogle, of Archers Way, said: “I have rung the RSPCA and they will not even come out to inspect them. They said if we could catch them they may come and look at them. I thought the RSPCA are for the wild animals as well.”

The 68-year-old said she feared the animals might die from cold.

“I just want to see them safe but I don’t have the equipment to catch them,” she added.

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A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “The symptoms displayed by the squirrel in the photograph look similar to those caused by the mange mite, but could also be a consequence of an infection carried by ticks or lice. Only a veterinary examination would be able to make an accurate diagnosis.

“However, as the grey squirrel is a non-native species, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 means they cannot be released back into the wild without a special licence. Therefore, treating the squirrels would not be an option.

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“We appreciate people’s concern for the welfare of our wildlife, but as long as the squirrels are eating well, behaving normally and don’t appear to be suffering then we would recommend they are left well alone.”

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