“Copper” the red squirrel has been given a probable death sentence, though his friends at the Anchorage Police Department don’t seem to get it, and the media, as the lyrics of Bob Dylan once put it, “all went along for the ride.”
Odds are Copper will soon be flatter than a pancake beneath the wheel of an APD patrol car, but he’s had his five seconds of fame, and what more could a squirrel ask?
Maybe he’ll even snag a few more APD parking lot donuts before he gets runover thus providing the evidence to allow everyone to rest easy that Copper died doing what he loved, snatching donuts left in the APD parking lot.
Copper, for those who missed the two KTVA-News stories and don’t know about the now semi-famous rodent properly named for the first time here, is the squirrel who made an appearance in the parking lot of the police station in Alaska’s largest city to cop a donut someone left on the pavement there.
APD thought it was cute, and the APD propaganda wizards decided bait for squirrels could be used to polish the image of local police as a group of good-natured people unafraid to poke a little fun at themselves.
The rest is history as APD Tweeted:
Cute, isn’t it?
Or at least it’s cute if you’re not a foolish squirrel being conditioned to hang out among the many cars with their moving wheels in the APD parking lot. This cannot turn out well for Copper.
Tiger was in the driveway because he lived at the home. Copper is in the parking lot because he’s been baited there. Reasons exist for why feeding wildlife in Alaska is generally verbotten.
The main reason is death. As the Alaska Department of Fish and Game says, “A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear.”
Feeding bears or letting them get into garbage or dog food quickly conditions them to go looking for more tasty human food, garbage or dog food. As a result, they start hanging around where they shouldn’t and pretty much inevitably get shot unless spared by the governor, and placed in a bear-relocation plan only to be later shot because of their addiction to human food, garbage and dog food.
Neighbors in Hillside subdivisions are now squabbling over a shortage of bear-resistant garbage cans (WARNING: They aren’t bear proof) and people who put out their trash at night because of fears about food-conditioned bears. Bears are big and dangerous.
Squirrels are small and easily runover. But when they learn to steal donuts from a parking lot, they are sort of cute before they get runover.
How it came to be filmed is unclear. But the video makes it obvious Copper wasn’t found by accident. Whoever shot the video enters the parking lot looking for the squirrel and the donut.
Now the question is this:
Will there be a follow-up video of Copper’s dime-thin body after the tire of a squad car flattens him against the pavement because he’s been trained to hangout in the APD parking lot looking for donuts?