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Name: Thomas
Status: other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2/13/2004

I have heard many times that during mating season the dominant male squirrels may attack the genitals of lesser male squirrels. This is usually associated with fox squirrel or red squirrel stories. There are extreme versions of this story that involve a squirrel on squirrel castration. I find this very hard to believe. Any response will be appreciated.

In my many years as a naturalist I have never heard of this behavior confirmed. Two excellent, detailed references, The Wild Mammals of Missouri by Schwartz, and The Mammals of Illinois by Hoffmeister, make no mention of it. Hoffmeister does cite a report of red squirrels killing a fox squirrel by "biting it about the throat." There is aggression and chasing between male squirrels in breeding season. I think the castration story is likely a "legend."

J. Elliott

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