Dominant male terrorises Zwijnaarde “squirrel bridge”

Nature-lovers in the Ghent (East Flanders) suburb of Zwijnaarde have been forced to construct a second “squirrel bridge” across a busy road after the squirrels that tried to cross the first bridge they had constructed were terrorised by a dominant male squirrel that had claimed the bridge as his own personal territory. 

Barbara and her neighbour on the opposite side of the Heistraat in Zwijnaarde both enjoy the many squirrels that live in and visit their gardens. However, their street is quite busy with many cars driving up and down it at speed.

After at least 5 squirrels had been run over Barbara’s neighbour contacted Ghent City Council to see if anything could be done. After about a year it was decided that a special bridge would be built so that the squirrels could get from garden to garden safely. The “squirrel bridge” opened around 6 months ago.

The bridge is nothing more than two planks of wood linked together with a rope. "The planks have been put into the ground in front of both our gardens and a linked with a rope”, Barbara explains. Since the “bridge open no more squashed squirrels have been found on the road.

The squirrels can often be seen on the rope that forms the bridge. However, a dominant male squirrel is making life difficult for other squirrels that want to use the bridge. The other animals don’t dare cross when he is there and it has now been decided that a second squirrel bridge will be built a few metres away.

"We are very pleased with this solution. Our children enjoy watching the animals running about in our garden”, Barbara told Radio 2 East Flanders.  

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