City Creek Nature Notes – Salt Lake City

September 20, 2016

July 30th

Filed under: Mammals, People, Rattlesnake, Reptiles, Squirrel — canopus56 @ 10:36 pm

Another Dead Squirrel

3 p.m. Along the roadside, I find my 3rd dead squirrel in the last two weeks, and I quickly dispatch the corpse to the underbrush. Like the others, this specimen shows no signs of natural depredation or human cause death such as an impact with a car or by hunting. Each appears otherwise fat and healthy. How are they expiring? Over the last month, I’ve seen four snakes sunning themselves along the roadside, two of which were rattlesnakes. Perhaps they are the culprits, but the squirrels were too large even for the snakes, with their detached jaws, to swallow. Or perhaps they have simply died from heat exhaustion. This has been an extremely hot summer and wrapped in their winter coats, the squirrels may not be able to withstand temperatures that are consistently over 100 degrees.

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