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Red alert as squirrel invades Ballycastle jeweller's shop

By Linda Stewart

This is the moment a hyperactive red squirrel that ransacked a Ballycastle jeweller's shop was finally brought to bay.

The woodland mammal wrecked the window display at Indigo Jewellers on Ann Street after it dashed through the open door and scattered jewellery across the floor.

But it was finally brought under control and released back into the wild by a quick-thinking passer-by who used her jacket as a makeshift net.

Jeweller Peter Dickson said he was in the shop on Wednesday with his pet springer spaniel, Pepsi, as the great squirrel adventure unfolded.

"The red squirrel bolted in and started running around in circles and running into the glass cabinets at the back of the shop," he said.

"It was trying to escape and then the dog began to chase it as well. It was trying to catch the squirrel, and I was trying to chase the dog - so it was something like a comedy cartoon."

Passer-by Nuala Scally-Hill came to his assistance, putting the dog out the back before cornering the invader in the front window.

"It was running up and down the jewellery displays, completely taking them apart.

"Everything was going everywhere," Peter said. "But Nuala got her jacket and grabbed it.

"She took it out the back and released it into the car park which is near fields."

Although now very rare in Northern Ireland, red squirrels can still be seen in the heavily forested Glens of Antrim and parks in villages along the Antrim coast.

An expert from the local Glens Red Squirrel Group later said the animal was a female and warned that they can be quite vicious.

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