THEY may look cute and furry but those teeth are sharp.
Squirrels have long been considered pests who damage trees and gobble up baby birds – but now people are being warned not to feed them after incidents at the Nothe Gardens in Weymouth.
One man, who didn’t want to be named, told how a squirrel sank its teeth into his finger.
He said: “I went up to the Nothe Gardens with my mum and dad, as they like that area because the squirrels are so tame.
“There was a man feeding them and they were climbing all over him. He handed some of the food to me so I could feed them, and one squirrel just came straight over and bit me.
“Imagine if that had been a small child. They look cute, but they are dangerous.”
Elena Somailik also enjoys walking at the Nothe Gardens and took a friend to see the tame squirrels.
But the pair were faced with what Elena described as a ‘gang’ of the creatures.
“They looked like they were waiting for someone to come their way. We sat down on a bench and they surrounded us. They started jumping up aggressively and one bit my friend on her finger.”
Elena added: “It was just like the Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds.”
Yet another victim said she was chased by squirrels at the Nothe Gardens when she wasn’t even attempting to feed them.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I was walking along and they just came at me.
“It started as one but they seemed to form a gang. I tried to shoo them away but they wouldn’t go. I tried walking away but the faster I walked the faster they came at me.
"They were chasing me.
“It was really scary.”
Briony Baxter, a community officer for Dorset Wildlife Trust, urged people not to feed squirrels.
She said: “I know that some people find them cute and cuddly, and it might be the only wildlife they come into contact with but they are quite a menace.
“If a squirrel is startled or gets over excited about the food you are holding out it is quite natural that it will bite.”