I know first hand that the flying squirrel population in Michigan is doing well. Flying squirrels love living in Michigan. Michigan's flying squirrels also love living in your fireplace in your basement.

We recently had an incident with a rodent in our home. My wife noticed our dog and two cats standing guard by our fireplace in the basement. Upon further investigation she discovered a tail of some sort inside of the fireplace. She screamed and alerted me to the suspect hiding in the fireplace. I tapped on the glass to startle the rodent, I did not see anything move. Thirty seconds later my wife saw the tail of the rodent in the corner of our living room. At this point I try to secure the animal with two buckets I had with me. The rodent, which we now know was a flying squirrel, darted at max speed away from me and was making his way towards the upstaris of our home. There was NO WAY I was going to allow that little bugger to the upstairs.

I slowly cornered the flying squirrel and was able to grab it by hand. Sadly the only gloves I had to wear were leather working gloves. When I secured the squirrel it decided to bite me. I had to go get a rabies vaccine and still have more shots to get over the next several weeks to complete the vaccine. The scene was very similar to the one in Christmas Vacation.

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After all of the excitement and rabies shots, I am convinced it was a flying squirrel.


How do I know it was a flying squirrel?

I googled some images and they match what I dealt with at our home, more specific, the southern flying squirrel. MSU describes the Michigan flying squirrel:

The northern flying squirrel is 10-14 inches in body length and brownish-gray in color, with white-tipped fur on its underside (southern flying squirrels are smaller with belly fur white down to the base). It has large black eyes, rounded ears and a flattened tail. A gliding membrane (patagium) bordered with dark gray to black fur connects wrists to ankles. Northern flying squirrels molt every autumn. During winter they appear lighter in color, and with fur on the soles of their feet.

Another thing I noticed about the "perp" was that he flattened out in mid air as if he was gliding when I tossed him outdoors.  While flying squirrels are cute, I thought it would be fun to have as a pet, they are rabid and won't make good pets.

If you are ever bitten by a wild animal go to the emergency room immediately, they are the only ones that can provide you the vaccine.

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Gallery Credit: Scott Clow