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Chester police rescue distressed woman from squirrel

Grey squirrel Image copyright Cheshire Constabulary
Image caption Det Con Nigel Thake helped free the woman from the persistent squirrel

A mischievous squirrel was the unlikely subject of a bizarre call to police - after the rodent jumped into a woman's handbag and refused to leave.

The distressed woman was outside the Shropshire Arms pub in Chester when the grey squirrel began to drive her nuts.

Det Con Nigel Thake attended and managed to send the persistent animal on its way.

Police in Chester later Tweeted from an official account: "Welcome to the varied day of a police officer."

The unusual drama was documented on Chester Inner Police's Twitter account, referring to Det Con Thake as "Dr Doolittle".

The officer posted: "Days like today are why we joined the police."

'Would not leave'

A spokesman for Cheshire Constabulary said: "At around 7.40pm on Thursday, police received a call from a woman at the Shropshire Arms pub in Northgate Street, Chester, reporting that a squirrel had climbed inside her handbag and would not leave her alone.

"DC Nigel Thake attended the incident and released the squirrel back into the wild."

Grey squirrels are not native to the UK and are a threat to the indigenous red squirrel.

Under section 9 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act, it is an offence to release a grey squirrel into the wild.

According to Red Squirrels Northern England, an organisation which works to protect red squirrels: "This means if you trap one, you are obliged to humanely dispatch it.

"You must not let it go as this act would be illegal."

The police spokesman added: "I'm sure the squirrel in this case had managed to escape before a cage could be found."

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