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A squirrel king is a collection of squirrels whose tails have tangled together, making them unable to separate themselves. It is similar to a phenomenon recorded in rats, the rat king, of rats with tails tangled together. A squirrel king starts as a litter of young in the same nest, whose tails become knotted together by nesting materials, and/or by tree sap gluing the tails together, particularly if the young squirrels have been gnawing bark of the tree that their nest is in, letting sap flow. If the squirrels are not separated, when they try to come out of their nest, they may fall to the ground still all joined to each other, and will invariably die, making this a lethal condition, unless someone finds them and separates them. Unlike the rat king, the squirrel king is not found in medieval European literature. For this use of the word 'king', see Rat king#Etymology and folklore. List of naturally occurring incidents Unnatural incidents There have been incidents of animal cruelty or taxidermic artwork, where humans tied the tails of squirrels together, making something resembling the natural squirrel king. = Incidents of animal cruelty =On 19 September 2019, 4 squirrels were found knotted together and tied up, on railroad tracks in Berlin, Connecticut, USA. They survived to be separated, but needed some amputation. In order to tie them up, the person who performed the incident had to break their tails. See also Rat king References Further reading Marcus Mueller (20 June 2019). 'Squirrels Tails Stuck Together and This Is Not the First Case'.
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