(PLYMOUTH, MA) Things are getting nutty in Plymouth! The Plymouth Police Department revealed on Sunday, November 27 via Facebook that a flying squirrel landed on an officer while they were on duty!
"While directing traffic, Officer Andrew Whelan flinched a little when this flying squirrel came at him, but then he just realized the little guy wanted to play. Andrew named him Snookems. Rumor has it, When Officer Whelan goes on Patrol, Snookems might be in his pocket…" - Plymouth Police Department
This encounter was an extremely special one, as it is rare to spot a flying squirrel in Massachusetts. Thanks to their "nocturnal nature, flying squirrels are seldom seen and, thus, their abundance is difficult to document."
Do Flying Squirrels Live in Massachusetts?
A flying squirrel found in Massachusetts may seem completely out of place, but according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, it's not impossible! There are two types of flying squirrels that can be found in the bay state, Southern Flying Squirrels and Northern Flying Squirrels.
The Rare Northern Flying Squirrel
"Northern Flying Squirrel individuals may occur in northern portions of Massachusetts, but have not been confirmed in over 40 years." states the government document created as part of the state's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program.
The Common Southern Flying Squirrel
"The southern flying squirrel is found from southern Canada south to southern Florida, west to Minnesota and eastern Texas. The northern flying squirrel is found from southeastern Alaska and northern Canada south to Tennessee and west to the Pacific coast."
Do Flying Squirrels Really Fly?
If you happen to spot a flying squirrel gliding through the air, it is easy to see where they got their name from! These small but strong creatures "can move as rapidly through treetops as they do on the ground and easily negotiate vines, shrubbery, telephone wires, downspouts, and walls of brick, stucco, or wood." Their amazing skillset allows them to "jump six feet straight up" and they can even "launch themselves a distance of 10 feet or more from a tree, building, or railing to reach a bird feeder."