Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 13 October 1916

The appearance of the American grey squirrel in a Withington garden might well cause surprise, but the lady who reports it evidently knows this animal, which is rather larger than our familiar red squirrel, is grey in colour, and lacks ear-tufts. She wonders if it had escaped from confinement. I do not expect so; it is more likely that it has been intentionally released in one of the Manchester parks, or possibly at Belle Vue. Many of these engaging little squirrels are turned down in different parts of the country; I have seen them in woods near Torquay, and, locally, in Dunham Park.

The first successful introduction that I know of was more or less accidental. A large number of grey squirrels were placed in the marmots’ enclosure in the London Zoological Gardens, but the authorities did not calculate upon their excellent jumping powers, and several escaped. These ran free in the Gardens and in Regent’s Park for some time, getting very friendly with the visitors, even taking food from their hands. The result was that a number were pocketed by people who thought that they would make nice pets. Since then others have been put in the enclosure and allowed to escape; and the species has also been turned loose in other London parks. It appears to be more ready to make friends than our British squirrel, but possibly it has not the same hereditary recollection of stone-throwing boys.

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Source: Guardian Environment