Yes, animals are adorable. But they can also be destructive, as witnessed by the havoc wreaked by a certain squirrel this week -- more on that below.
The chaos-loving rodent inspired us to round up five recent stories about critters gone wild, in a manner of speaking. Count down our favorites below.
Number 5: That squirrel was fired up!
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science seems like a sensible target for animals seeking vengeance for the cruelty of man. After all, it's got "Nature" in its name. So no one should have been surprised when a squirrel reportedly found its way into the facility's fuse box, sparking a power outage that delayed the museum's opening by twenty minutes or so on Tuesday morning.
Call it natural consequences.
The Pikes Peak parking lot at Denver International Airport is a favorite spot for folks who'll be gone for a few days to leave their cars. And that's good news for the rabbits who populate the area, since it gives them plenty of time to munch on the wiring.
In a 9News story from 2010, a traveler whose vehicle was in perfect condition when he left it at Pikes Peak returned nine days later to a dashboard blinking with unsettling warning lights. Setting things right cost him a mere $238 -- but he's hardly the only one forced to make such an investment. The station notes that about a dozen such reports come in every year.
Imagine a hutch's worth of bunnies giggling.
Rabbits are hardly the only creatures that make the area near DIA home. There's also a plenitude of bird life -- so much so that, according to a 2009 article in the New York Times, Denver's airport experienced more bird strikes (at least 2,090 during that decade) than any other similar facility in the country.
The most common type of bird that met its end in a brutal collision with an aircraft? The aptly named mourning dove.
Please join us in a moment of silence.
The combo of DIA rabbits and birds are compounded by another native of the region: the coyote. A 2006 USA Today piece about bird strikes points out that five coyotes were struck by planes at the airport during the previous year.
Circa the summer of 2011, coyote or coyotes in Broomfield got even against humanity -- or at least a couple junior members. As we reported at the time, a six-year-old strolling near the town's Anthem neighborhood was bowled over by a coyote that had been hiding in some tall grass, and afterward, doctors found puncture wounds on his behind. Then, a week later, a two-year-old boy was toddling with his dad in the same vicinity when a coyote sent him sprawling and bit him on his butt and lower back.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers killed the coyote they believe was responsible for the second attack, and perhaps the first as well. Pretty wily of them.
In 2010, a heifer in Evans made a bid to be considered the most bad-ass cow of all time. As Evans Detective Rita Wolf told us at the time, the cow escaped from its designated holding area at around 2:30 a.m. and was seen running loose near an elementary school about an hour later. But officers were unable to capture the 750-pounder, which headed toward nearby railroad tracks -- and when an oncoming train honked, the cow was so started that it hit the front end of a police cruiser and knocked off its bumper before escaping again.
The search for the runaway bovine continued through the next day, with a report of a sighting in a subdivision coming in at around 6:30 p.m. But even though officers found the cow right away, the four-hoofed load managed to evade capture for hours. A Weld County animal-control officer finally felled the cow at around 11 p.m. with not one, but two shots from a tranquilizer gun.
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