NEW YORK CITY -- Residents in Queens, New York have reported at least five attacks from aggressive squirrels since late November.
Most of the attacks have happened on 65th Drive near Fitchett Street in the Rego Park neighborhood.
One woman needed to visit the emergency room after her hand was bitten by a squirrel. Others have said they are afraid to walk in their own neighborhood due to the critters.
Micheline Frederick said she was attacked on Dec. 21.
"It just basically runs up my leg and I'm like OK squirrel, hello, what are you doing," Frederick said. "He either bit or scratched me on my neck and then I must have reached over, and the next thing I know, it's an MMA cage match and I'm losing."
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Her hands were covered with blood and bruises. She got a rabies shot as a precaution before warning her neighbor, Licia Wang.
Wang says she was also attacked by a squirrel.
"I tried to shake it off but I couldn't, squirrels have claws, cling onto your winter jacket, there's no way to shake it off," Wang said.
At least three other people have said they had similar encounters with either a single rogue squirrel or a pack.
The residents have reached out to the city for help, but were told to hire their own licensed trapper, which they did, but so far have not seen results.
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"Worried for the children, that's what most people are scared with the kids," Frederick said.
Some experts say the reason the squirrels might be approaching the humans is because people have been feeding them.
However, those who spoke with WABC-TV said they have not been feeding the animals or chasing them -- they have simply been minding their own business.
"When we leave the house, we have to carry mom's homemade pepper spray to make sure if it comes at us, we spray it," witness Anika Singh Sood said.
The NYC Department of Health released the following statement:
"The NYC Health Department received a complaint about an aggressive squirrel in Rego Park and advised the property owner to hire an New York State licensed trapper. Squirrels and many other small rodents are rarely found to be infected with rabies. If New Yorkers believe they have observed an animal infected with rabies, they should report it to 311."