Super-sized squirrels that have been dubbed "squirrelzilla' have left homeowners stunned after taking over their gardens in America.
The chunky, big-boned animals have been hunting for meals in gardens – with one owner claiming that a squirrel knocks on her door to demand food.
Reports of the monstrous gray squirrels seem to have increased in the US state of Maine with homeowners claiming they seem to be bigger than in the past.
Beth Ditkoff, of Damariscotta, said her resident squirrel is so large that it can no longer hide from her, reports Fox23Maine.
“I’m looking at him right now because he’s watching me through the glass door,” she said during a phone interview.
“We have this deck and we are used to seeing squirrels scampering around, but there is no scampering anymore.”
Instead, the squirrels are plodding their way around the lawns and meddling with bird feeders in search of their next meal.
Some people have said the animals have worked out how to unlatch the feeders, so the seeds drop straight onto the ground, while others claim they are taking a nap after falling into a food coma.
Jennifer Clements, who is a registered nurse at a care facility, said she and her co-workers refer to their resident squirrel as Godzilla.
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She said: “He is a surprisingly huge gray squirrel and he just keeps getting bigger.
“He can’t fit into the feeder, so he waits for the smaller red squirrels to make a mess spilling seeds onto the ground and eats those.”
One woman said that a plump squirrel leaves its paw prints on her glass door every time it reminds her that her feeder has run out of food.
Shevenell Webb, furbearer biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said there were large quantities of wild food which squirrels and other rodents relied on this summer, which could be why they look larger than normal.
“Although it can be variable by location, it has been a decent mast year in Maine,” Webb said.
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It has been reported that longer periods of humid weather in the state provided an extra food source for the greedy squirrels.
“I also noticed it has been a banner fall with an abundance of different types of mushrooms, which squirrels also enjoy,” she added.
According to the biologist, squirrels do fatten up for the winter but their size can also be caused by their healthy and fluffy fur.
She warned that supplemental feeding can increase the number of animals coming into contact with each other which can boost the transmission of diseases.
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