knife squirrel toronto

Knife-wielding squirrel captured on camera in Toronto

Not even one full week into the new year, and 2021 has already given us its answer to the enigmatic murder hornets of 2020: Stabby squirrels.

The first known knife-wielding mutation of North America's standard Eastern Grey Squirrel was spotted by Toronto resident Andrea Diamond on Wednesday morning.

Diamond told blogTO that she saw the squirrel in her Rosedale-area backyard around 10 a.m. on the morning of January 6, just sitting on a fence, fiddling with a blue-handled knife.

"I often see squirrels all over our yard and area and carrying random trash, but the blue really caught my attention," said Diamond of the menacing rodent. "And then of course when I looked closer I couldn't believe it was holding a knife!"

She immediately got out her phone to film, and thankfully so: Imagine trying to tell someone that you saw this in your backyard without any evidence to back up the claim? Knowing that an adorable threat might be looming in the bushes, but being unable to prove it?

At first, Diamond worried that the squirrel might hurt itself, but after watching it for a while, she believed that the creature really liked its new toy / weapon.

"It was gnawing on it for awhile and then would drop it run away and then come back to keep gnawing on it," she said of the knife, which she believes to have been stolen.

"We set up an open air tent and fire-pit to social distance with friends this year and must have left a knife (dollar store brand I believe) in the tent," she noted. "They've also been COVID conscious and eaten through all our hand sanitizer."

Naughty squirrels! But not really: There have been no actual reports of squirrels attacking or harming anyone with knives to date.

The little guy in Diamond's backyard was likely just grinding down his teeth (unlike humans, the teeth of rodents do not stop growing, ever, and must be kept in check with frequent chewing.)

Diamond joked that her backyard visitor was "clearly arming itself for impending U.S. invasion," as did some others who saw the clip when cracking jokes about the occurrence.

"Oh wow, it looks like everyone, even the squirrels, are getting pandemic fatigue!" responded one Twitter user.

"I knew Toronto was getting bad but this is ridiculous," wrote another. "Can't even walk down the street with a bag of walnuts anymore..."

When asked why she felt the video was resonating so much with Torontonians, Diamond ventured that "it's adorable and hilarious and speaks to this chaotic past year and start to 2021."

"Our backyard is like the circle of life because our neighbour feeds ALL the animals — squirrels, raccoons, cats, rats (although I don’t like to think about those)," she explained.

"They are practically tame... although I'm not so sure after seeing this knife-wielding one."

Lead photo by

Andrea Diamond


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