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Flying squirrels invade hospital emergency room for second time in two weeks

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

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(Joel Sartore/Getty Images)

Most people spend their time in the hospital plotting their escape. It turns out that squirrels aren't all that different.

At around 10 pm on Tuesday night, a flying squirrel managed to trap itself inside the emergency room at New Jersey's Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

Now an ordinary squirrel in this position might just hide in a corner and make a quick dash for the nearest exit. But this gifted flying rodent repeatedly launched itself from an 8-foot-high wall-mounted lamp, in order to avoid firefighters from the Rahway Fire Department.

"It would climb up on a light and would jump off and glide," said fire department spokesman Capt. Ted Padavano. "It looked just like a little squirrel, but once it jumped into the air, it had like a glider, or like a bat, skin under its arms, like a little square glider,"

Even stranger, this was the second time in two weeks that a flying squirrel had taken over the hospital's 15-by-15-foot trauma room. Eventually, a pair of firefighters managed to throw a blanket over the squirrel and safely release it unharmed into a wooded area outside the hospital.

But Padavana was already anticipating a return visit from the small, airborne creatures, speculating that they may have a nest inside the hospital. After all, he asked, "What are the odds of having two flying squirrels in the same emergency room?"

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