Plea to save grey squirrel facing death penalty in Moray

A fluffy grey squirrel has been issued with a death sentence after turning up in a red squirrel-only zone.

A fluffy grey squirrel has been issued with a death sentence after turning up in a red squirrel-only zone.

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Scientists and wildlife campaigners have come together to try save the life of a grey squirrel.

The squirrel, which has been named Elgin Sweetie, is facing a death sentence after turning up on red squirrel territory.

A squirrel eats a nut during sunnier weather

A squirrel eats a nut during sunnier weather

Now a wildlife group are appealing to remove the execution order and save the animal’s life.

The Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels group fears the squirrel may spread disease to the native wildlife in the area around Elgin, Moray.

Traps have been laid in a bid to kill the animal and study its DNA to determine where it came from.

As grey squirrels were originally imported from North America, this is the first instance that they have been found in Moray.

Grey squirrel.

Grey squirrel.

Scientists and wildlife campaigners have received the backing of the Interactive Centre for Scientific Research about Squirrels (ICSRS) in the hope of preventing the squirrel’s death.

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A spokesman for the group said: “The Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels group tries to justify killing this animal by claiming that grey squirrels are a threat to red squirrels. It does not have to be killed. We have many wildlife rescue charities offering to rehome it instead.

“We urge Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels to find a humane solution to their grey squirrel dilemma, since the alternative solutions already found make killing the beautiful Elgin Sweetie pointless.”

DNA samples can be collected from a living animal, according to the group.

The ICSRS lay the majority of the blame for the decline of red squirrels in the country on humans, rather than at the influx of grey squirrels.

If the animal’s life is spared, it has been arranged for it to be rehomed at the New Arc animal sanctuary in Ellon, Aberdeenshire. The squirrel which has been named Elgin Sweetie, is facing a death sentence after turning up on red squirrel territory.

Now a wildlife group are appealing to remove the execution order and save the animal’s life.

The Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels group fears the squirrel may spread disease to the native wildlife in the area around Elgin, Moray.

Traps have been laid in a bid to kill the animal and study its DNA to determine where it came from.

As grey squirrels were originally imported from North America, this is the first instance that they have been found in Moray.

Scientists and wildlife campaigners have received the backing of the Interactive Centre for Scientific Research about Squirrels (ICSRS) in the hope of preventing the squirrel’s death.

A spokesman for the group said: “The Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels group tries to justify killing this animal by claiming that grey squirrels are a threat to red squirrels. It does not have to be killed. We have many wildlife rescue charities offering to rehome it instead.

“We urge Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels to find a humane solution to their grey squirrel dilemma, since the alternative solutions already found make killing the beautiful Elgin Sweetie pointless.”

DNA samples can be collected from a living animal, according to the group.

The ICSRS lay the majority of the blame for the decline of red squirrels in the country on humans, rather than at the influx of grey squirrels.

If the animal’s life is spared, it has been arranged for it to be rehomed at the New Arc animal sanctuary in Ellon, Aberdeenshire.

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