Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:
I noticed that squirrels raiding my bird feeder were developing tumors. I have sent pictures to the NYS Depart ment of Fish and Wildlife and they sent them to their pathology department. Without a “carcass” they can’t make a definitive diagnosis, but felt it might be “squirrel pox” (squirrel fibromatosis) or the result of infections from fighting. The disorder progresses from hair loss to development of a nodule to open sores.

If anyone happens to have squirrels on their property and notices this phenomenon, they might want to contact NYS Wildlife at 845-256-3098. Their office is located in New Paltz and they are extremely helpful and FAST! Any cluster of disease is of interest to them. Squirrel pox is viral and contagious; it can be spread to other squirrels and to rabbits, but not people. If you do see it, disinfect your bird feeder, as it might be the source of contagion.

Lynn Feller