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

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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