The recent news reports read as if they might be part of some beastly crime wave:
In Walla Walla, Wash., a gnawing squirrel causes a power outage to 29 homes.
In Carbon County, Pa., a squirrel is blamed for a similar deprivation of electricity to that community.
And in Dayton, Ohio, a squirrel knocks out a transformer, wiping out utility service to a nearby Kmart and causing the store's evacuation.
When the stories come in clusters like this, as they often do, newscasters often feel obligated to nervously make jokes about "suicidal squirrels" or bushytail gang warfare.
But there's nothing funny about the loss of animal life - which is serious enough to those of us who care about the critters and their unnecessary deaths.
In this case, there is also a loss of power to people who might have a vital need for it, folks who may be disabled, elderly or just not able to function well at home with an interruption of service.
Even if utility companies don't seem to care whether gnawing animals electrocute themselves unwittingly on their power lines, they need to take another look at why all these squirrels, and perhaps other creatures, are dying. Whether they care for animals or not, they need to safeguard transformers and power lines better because electricity is the lifeblood of their customers too.
Now that's what you call real squirrel power!