I help out a woman on the weekends, cleaning out her parent's house, but on this Sunday we had some excitement. Her father had put out mouse traps because something was keeping him up all weekend by scrambling through the walls. This did not make my friend happy because she doesn't want the wee beasties to get hurt (although she didn't mind if we had brought a cat in because that's somehow more natural). Anyway, I hear a racket coming from the basement. I open the door to the stairs and at the bottom I see a larger animal (bigger than a chipmunk but smaller than a squirrel) pulling around a tiny mousetrap.
I think we need a bigger trap....
So, now we are stuck with a live, caught creature on a Sunday afternoon of a holiday weekend. I think about all the friends I could call who would be tough enough to take care of the critter, but then I decided that none of them would be up to the job (think Annie Hall and the lobster incident). After a quick "sit-down," we started calling pest control agencies. Nothing. Then I suggested that we call the non-emergency number for the police. The helpful person on that end gave us the number for animal control (I keep wanting to write "anime" -- God help me). No one at the animal control line but they gave us the number for the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection, I think). There, we got a live person who, at first, was reluctant to come out because they don't deal with creatures in traps. But thankfully, because we were clearly panicked, he came out. He easily found it and released it out the garage door (where it bolted for the woods). Apparently, it was a flying squirrel (see also here). I didn't get a close look at it nor did I watch what the DEP guy did, because I really didn't want to see the poor creature killed if it came to that.
I suggested to the father of my friend that he should have trapped and tamed it. Then he could spend afternoons launching it into the air like a paper airplane until it circled back.