Help sought from Glens walkers after red squirrel death

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Forest walkers in the Glens have been asked to be on the look out for any stricken red squirrels.

It follows the discovery on Friday morning by a member of the public of a dead red squirrel in Ballycastle Forest.

In a statement, Glens Red Squirrel Group said: “ One of our Red Squirrel Rangers was able to quickly go and was able to retrieve it at 11:30am thanks to the great pinpoint description given.

“When the squirrel was picked up it was examined to try and determine the cause of death. However nothing could be found to indicate the red had been killed by any of the animals in the forest that would prey on them - fox, buzzard, pine marten cat or dog. The red was physically healthy looking.

“The feeders in Ballycastle had been filled on Thursday and the cameras that are monitoring two of our feed sites showed nothing that would cause concern, such as sickly squirrels or squirrels showing evidence of Squirrel Pox. The red found was 8-10 meters from one of our feeders.

“We contacted the Forestry (NI Forest Service) to inform them of the situation and they have advised to look out for any more dead reds in the forest or nearby woodlands.

“We are asking for your help to report any sick or dead red squirrels you may see while out walking in our local forests and woodlands throughout the Glens. You can call our hotline number 08713157376.

“We would also ask you to use your phone if possible, and photograph the squirrel and the area it is in. This will be a great help and you can send them to us in a private message on Facebook, or email them to info@glensredsquirrelgroup.com.

“Do not touch the squirrel or move it.”