Squirrels Gone Wild
Smithsonian magazine detailed in August the exhaustive measures military officials have taken to finally block relentless Richardson's ground squirrels from tunneling underneath Montana's Malmstrom Air Force Base and interfering with the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles on 24/7 standby. For example, officials had to use trial-and-error to plant underground screens deeper in the ground than the squirrels cared to dig. A day after that report broke, a bus driver in Gothenburg, Sweden, crashed into a tree (with six passengers requiring hospital treatment) after swerving to avoid a squirrel in the road. On the same day, a New York Times reporter disclosed that his own news monitoring for 2013 revealed squirrels have caused 50 power outages in 24 states in the U.S. since Memorial Day, after invading electric company substations.