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article imageFlying squirrel checks into New Jersey ER

By Leigh Goessl     Dec 1, 2011 in Environment
Rahway - On Tuesday night hospital personnel were faced with a unique situation when a flying squirrel came into a Rahway, N.J. hospital emergency room.
The New Jersey Star Ledger reported fire department spokesman Capt. Ted Padavano said the greyish-brown squirrel kept launching itself from an 8-foot-high wall-mounted lamp and then soar into a glass wall in an attempt to dodge firefighters.
"It would climb up on a light and would jump off and glide," toward the glass wall, according to Padavano. Falling to the ground, "it would take off like lightning," and repeat its acts of attempted aerial escapism.
"It looked just like a little squirrel, but once it jumped into the air, it had like a glider, or like a bat, skin under its arms, like a little square glider," Padavano said.
At this time no one knows how the flying squirrel managed to check in to the emergency room.
“No one knew how the squirrel got in, but it ended up in the Emergency Room,” Battalion Fire Chief Michael Roberts said, according to My Central Jersey.
The squirrel was not injured and did not cause any damage. After 10 minutes firefighters were able to corral the flying squirrel with a blanket and then release it outside in a nearby wooded area.
This was the second flying squirrel in this emergency room in the last couple of weeks, the last visit occurred on Nov. 16, also in the evening. Padavano believes there is likely a nest somewhere in the building.
Flying squirrels generally create nests of tree bark, leaves, feathers, moss and lichen, but the Adirondack Ecological Center says flying squirrels do sometimes nest in buildings and bird houses.
My Central Jersey reported that Donna Mancuso, hospital spokeswoman, said hospital exterminators have found no evidence of nests or droppings in the building.
If there is a nest hidden somewhere, it may be possible the Robert Wood Johnson hospital's E.R. staff may be getting another flying visitor at a later date.
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