Squirrels dying off in significant numbers in Denver, several found to be infected with bubonic plague
Plague is found among rodent populations, including prairie dogs, in suburban and rural areas of Colorado every year, but experts say it is unusual to find the disease in the center of a city.
Plague, caused by a bacterium, is transmitted from rodent to rodent by infected fleas. Humans can catch the disease through scratches, bites and coughs.
Squirrels just aren't afraid enough of us anymore. Back when it was way more likely for one to end up in the dinner stewpot, they avoided us a bit more. Befriending rotten little rodent vermin and pretending they're cute widdle stinkers -- it's just stupid and foolish. It's a good way to get your fingers bitten and to catch some horrid disease.