SNAPSHOTS: Local oddity, mummified squirrel

Photos by Aundrea Kinney 

A naturally mummified squirrel was found in the rafters of a garage in the east metro. This fall, Janice Quick, a Maplewood historian living in the Phalen Neighborhood of St. Paul, found a trove of black walnuts and a nest. Since it appeared there was nothing currently living in the nest, she began to take it apart. While reaching in for another handful of debris, Quick touched what she thought was a piece of wood, but upon closer inspection she realized it was the formerly alive red squirrel that she had tried unsuccessfully for two years to trap. Carole Gernes, a naturalist at the Maplewood Nature Center noted that in order for the body to mummify naturally, the squirrel likely died in the summer when it was hot and dry, dehydrating and preserving the body. She said she couldn’t say how common of an occurrence natural mummification is in animals, but she has previously seen birds that have fallen into chimneys and become dehydrated.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here