A squirrel sparked panic today after it dashed into a busy leisure centre before leaping in the pool and biting a swimmer on the finger. The rodent (similar to the one pictured above) ran inside the Riviera Centre in Torquay, Devon, before heading towards the pool area.
When lifeguards tried to coax him out the creature leapt into the water and paddled around the deep end for several minutes. A swimmer tried to fish the squirrel out of the water but was bitten on the finger before then animal scampered off through a fire exit.
Jacquie Lovett, swimming instructor at the Waves Leisure Pool, said: "I came in to do a lesson and was told by the lifeguards that there was a squirrel on top of the wave chamber.
"The squirrel then decided to run out. One of the lifeguards tried to chase it out and it went into the curtain. Then it jumped into the swimming pool."
"It was doing a few strokes, going under the water and then coming up for air. It looked like a drowned rat."