Red squirrels in danger as deadly virus discovered near Penrith

The red squirrel population faces a dramatic decline in numbers Credit: PA

Squirrel Pox continues to spread in the Border region with new reports suggesting the virus has now hit as far as Penrith.

Penrith and District Red Squirrel Group says there has been an outbreak in the Lowther Caravan Park area in Eden Valley, Cumbria.

  • What is squirrelpox?

Grey squirrels can carry and spread the virus without showing symptoms, however, native red squirrels do not have the same immunity.

When infected, the rodents typically suffer from lesions which can cause them to stop eating, drinking or moving.

The virus is therefore usually fatal within two weeks and can cause the numbers in an area to rapidly decline.

As the outbreak continues to spread, the local group is urging the public to remove any feeding equipment from their gardens as this increases transmission.

Squirrel sightings in the area should also be reported to local animal authorities.

For anymore information or by telephone 07788 264571.