The small gray squirrel in Bennington, Vt., has broken the peace that existed between humans and the small woodland creatures. In separate incidents, the pugnacious rodent has bitten and scratched neighbors without provocation, local station Fox 23 reported.
"[It] just latched on to my shoulder, and I went back and it's a gray squirrel," victim Kevin McDonald told the TV station.
McDonald was shoveling snow outside his home when the sneak attack began. "He was holding on. He wouldn't let go. I was finally able to get him off, and as soon as I got him off, he just jumped right at me again."
The feisty critter inflicted several scratches on McDonald last week.
It's believed the same squirrel reappeared later and went wild on two of McDonald's neighbors. One woman said she was bit.
Vermont Public Health Veterinarian Robert Johnson hypothesized to The Associated Press that the animal might have been raised as a pet and lost its fear of humans. The squirrel might "go ballistic" when it sees strangers.
The animal's unusual behavior has raised fears that it has rabies, but wildlife authorities said that's unlikely.
"The number of cases of rabid rodents is very low in Vermont, and we haven't had cases in a very long time of a rabid species like a squirrel," Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department wildlife biologist Scott Darling told station WCAX.
The Bennington game warden is hunting for the squirrelly squirrel, and authorities urged everyone to take medical precaution if attacked.