back to article Suicide squirrel knocks out Swiss TV

TV and radio were knocked out for a couple of hours in Switzerland on Sunday - after a squirrel got itself electrocuted. The trams stopped running too for a short time in Zurich, the venue for the squirrel-short circuit action. Swiss TV's emergency power back-up was too puny to cope with demand - and many Swiss sports fans …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Irresponsible article

    Promoting terrorism.

  2. Bronek Kozicki

    government must fight squirrel terrorists

    surely good reason to spend another £20bln on invigilation, identification and tracking database.

  3. Daniel Silver badge

    Re: Irresponsible article

    HAHA (he says, hoping sincerely that Wayne had his tongue firmly implanted in his cheek)

  4. G


    Its not even crispy

  5. James


    I don't think it was an Al Quaida squirrel. It's red, so obviously pushed to it's death by a grey or gang of greys. As grey squirrels are from the US of A we can see that the CIA are clearly involved in this hence the action should be for Switzerland to declare a state of war with the US.

  6. Leo Maxwell

    Crack Al-quaeda operative

    That is an example of the terrible conditions that supposed "terrorist" squirrels are held in Guanuttimo camp, Switzerland.

    The Al-Nuteera reports of suspects being held in small cages, and tortured.

    As is obviously the case from that photo.

    We have a trained suicide squad of squirrels that can knock-out large portions of the UK Grid unless all our demands are met!

    The one with the split up the back for my tail.

  7. Ronny Cook
    Black Helicopters

    @wayne tavitt

    Trained black ops attack squirrels on jihad!!!

    We'll be seeing squirrels held for questioning at customs any day now. They're obvious candidates for the Taliban, given their prediliction for nuts.

    Mine's the one lined with squirrel fur.


  8. Anonymous Coward

    Promoting Terrorism?!

    What planet do you live on?

    Aha, now I understand - Al-Quada will get the idea from this article to start training Afghan squirrels to go on suicide missions.

    Hmmm, it maybe this was even a practice mission already!

    Yes, very irresponsible article by El Reg. Tut tut.

    What planet did you say?

  9. pAnoNymous

    The Squirrel Factor

    How ever much of tax payers money you spend on CCTV+ID Cards+"Community Support Officers"+Local Council's hobby PIs you just can't do anything about the squirrel factor.

  10. dervheid

    Ready to eat!

    You'd think the Swiss would be able to come up with a more convenient way to cook a squirrel.

    "So how many squirrels would it need to take out Switzerland?"

    By the looks of things, little more than half a dozen.

    probably about the same number as would be required here.

    Actually, you'd probably need less.

    Next NuLabourian Anti-Terrorism Brainwave - Anti Suicide Squirrel Extermination Squad



  11. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Fried squirrel

    or is it roasted ?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    This is just the beginning

    the Squirrel Army has risen, and will stop at nothing. Mark my words

  13. Lukin Brewer

    Mein Führer! Mein Führer!

    "I have it! A plan to open up the fine and very Aryan, but recalcitrant land of Switzerland for our invasion! They will never suspect or see it coming, and they will never be able to react in time, for we will use... squirrels!"

    Dramatic music swells as Hitler studies the plan. He stands up.

    "You think too small, Herr Doktor. Switzerland will just be the first to fall. Soon all nations will fall before our sciuridine forces. The world will tremble in the wake of...

    Operation Ratatosk!

    (Coming soon to a cinema near you. Heavy-handedly adapted from an original graphic novel by Alan Moore. Characters and ending reconfigured so the heroes are American, save the day and don't die. Starring the ghost of John Wayne.)

    p.s. Does this come under Godwin's Law?

  14. Steve Skipper


    Presumably the unlucky rodent must have touched the neutral.

  15. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  16. David Harper

    @ Cooked?

    It's pining for the fjords.

  17. Pete Silver badge

    ID cards for squirrels

    that'll stop the new menace - for sure!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    What stupid squirrel comments

    You guys are all nuts.

  19. E


    Clearly the UK needs more cameras watchiong the public spaces in order to protect the state from squirrels.

  20. Tom

    LMAO, my dear old grandpa would be proud

    He had a bird table rigged to the mains for 'detering' squirrels from the bird food, i'm glad to see his work continues...

  21. Dougthedug

    Squirrel Nextofkin strikes again

    It was probably a suicide. Electrocution is the preferred method used by the ginger rodents.

    The fact that there are no signs of violence or coercion and from the picture he's deliberately entered a high-voltage area would lend weight to the theory that he just couldn't face life as a Swiss Squirrel anymore.

    Has a background report on his mental health been done yet?

  22. Jeroen Braamhaar

    One word


    Flame icon, because of elcectrically-induced mammalian combustion

  23. Alan Ferris

    Another case for ID cards...

    Anyone can see that this squirrel wasn't carrying one

  24. Anonymous Coward


    Is that a male squirrel or a female one? I only ask because I am terrified to view the page until I can be sure that it does not contain an image of a graphic nature, depicting females in anything other than their VERY best light.

  25. Tony Smith

    Hail Squirrels!

    I for one welcome our new squirrel overlords

  26. Ramon Cahenzli

    Emergency studio was not even powered up

    Well, shows how misinformed some people are. The studios that were affected are the Swiss TV's normal ones in Zürich. Of course their generators aren't enough to run the entire building.

    The emergency broadcasts in case of war and other unfortunate accidents would be from the emergency studio in the Bundeshaus in Bern. That studio's a lot smaller and has its own power system so it can broadcast as long as it likes. A roasted squirrel is not an act of terrorism, so nobody powered up the emergency studio.

  27. Mike Flugennock
    Thumb Up

    Hoorah. God is Great.

    I, for one, welcome our new cute litle bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, buck-toothed overlords.

  28. Hud Dunlap

    USA ready for suicide squirrel

    In the good old USA, the power line breakers will reset three times before shutting down. It was designed that way because of squirrels.

  29. dervheid

    @Steve Skipper

    Not necessarily. Think you'll find that getting across 2 phases is quite enough.

  30. Dominic Kua
    Dead Vulture

    @Ramon Cahenzli

    That's what they want you to think.

    Where were the other squirrels? Hmm? They only revealed the truth about this one because they couldn't plausibly deny it. As for the other 8 who managed a similar feat, well... " A roasted squirrel is not an act of terrorism, so nobody powered up the emergency studio."

    Sheeple would believe that, but I don't!

    Dead bird icon, because kamikaze pigeons is next I'm tellin' ya.

  31. Prof O. Und

    The Swiss - part 1

    Chocolate: 20 Swiss Francs

    Chronometer: 3000 Swiss Francs

    Helecopter ride to mountaintop: 600 Swiss Francs

    De-smugged by a squirrel: Priceless

  32. pctechxp

    how would you like your squirrel sir?

    Well done, prefereably cooked on a transformer thanks.

    Did anyone sample the meat?

  33. Steve Sherlock

    Re: Fried squirrel or is it Roasted?

    Given that it was cooked by the current passing through I'd say it's closer to microwaved.

    Of course, if you consider the squirrel to be part of the heating element then you could always have a nice nut roast...

  34. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward


    @Hud: back in the 1970s a Boulder radio station I used to listen to would go off air for a bit every other month or so, brought low by a suicidal squirrel. Perhaps the breaker logic has been revised during the last thirty years.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    This often happens in the U.S. . .

    . . . when a squirrel with a methamphetamine habit tries to steal copper cable to pay for it.

    Frankly, this scenario usually plays out with a human being rather than a squirrel, the squirrels once again demonstrating their intellectual superiority over your average bipedal tweaker.

    It's the fur-collared one.

  36. Ali

    @David Harper

    Pinin for the fi-ords? Pinin for the FI-ORDS?!!!

    :D :D :D :D

  37. Luther Blissett

    Unbelievable ;-)

    Not this particular story - but the number of links under to similar AQ squirrel stories. Why is Big Media silent? Is an anti-squirrelist backlash building?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Swiss Bizniz

    IT angle?

    No IT angle, here. I live in Zuerich, work for an ISP and all our systems were unaffected including all the Internet Exchanges. Diversity in supply, East and West feeds. Depends how much money you have to spend. Resilience is never 100pc. Cost/ risk/ benefit.

    The Swiss invest heavily in infrastructure and when things go tit's up, there's nearly always a plan to rectify. And it's enacted within hours and not days by some Benson's smoking, fat gut, tea-swilling, arse-crack Dagenham cleavage type "I'm on a break, luv" mug taking his time.

    Switzerland is actually very good value for money in many, many ways. No leaves on the line excuses or wrong type of snow here. You'd get laughed right outta town.

    A few years ago in Geneva, severe thunder storms knocked out major parts of the Swiss Travel System and cost me a wait of a couple of hours or so. This happened twice in the space of a month, but when a train did arrive to begin moving the masses, i fell asleep in my seat and the conductor came along and left me a voucher for about a tenner for refreshments. Nobody stole it and even though the rail system cannot be blamed for inclement weather and multiple lightning strikes, I was given some form of compensation for the wait without having to ask.

    Couple of hours, down-time for crappy local Zueri TV? The weather channel, perhaps? Even a few trams knocked out? Big deal. Switzerland is closed on Sunday's anyway.

    So, squirrel or no squirrel - think again and put that in your pipe and smoke it! ;->

  39. J

    @Mein Führer! Mein Führer!

    You forgot to mention that the squad would be called SS (for Suicidal Squirrels, of course). Oh, wait, I believe that one is taken already...

  40. Anonymous Coward

    I for one welcome our new bushy-tailed overlords...

    ...being unable to conceive of any viable resistance against their suicide "shock" troops.

  41. Herby

    Now repeat after me...

    In your proper Homer Simpson voice:

    Mmmmm. Squirrel. Tasty. Mmmmm.

    We now resume your long list of comments.

  42. b166er
    Paris Hilton

    Faulty Towers

    Basil goes Boom! Boom!

    I hear Paris likes a bit of boom-boom.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    You're all missing the bigger picture...

    To paraphrase comedian Tim Bedore:

    "Increases in mountain lion attacks. Great White sharks moving closer to shore. Moose have been showing up in towns and stomping on people. A squirrel was in my living room last spring. Am I the only one that sees a pattern here? People, wise up! The other animals are against us. It doesn't take a genius to see there's an inter-species conspiracy to thwart the urban expansion of man.

    How do the squirrels fit in? Surveillance. They spy on what we people are doing in the cities and report back to the bigger species out there on the front lines.

    And taken together these other species represent walking, we hope not yet talking, scratching, biting weapons of mass destruction. And if these other species can convince the insect world, for example a well known anti-human group like the killer bees, to join up our way of life and our democracy could be history.

    The skeptical may ask why would these other species want to hurt us? Obviously, they hate us. They are jealous of our way of life. We swim in chlorinated, safe environment pools, then towel off and have an adult beverage. They are stuck eating sludge in the Mississippi, a river polluted by guess who: their mortal enemy man. And to top it all off we eat them."

    As for the three attempt breaker theory, yes that does work with squirrels, here in Ohio, however, God help the network when a raccoon gets zapped. The last time it happened to our substation, all the electricians found was a foot and a completely fried transformer, and we had 5 million square feet of manufacturing at a dead stop for several hours.

  44. James Woods

    just think if this happened in the US

    If something like this happened in the US, it would probably cost about 20 million dollars the first hour. You'd have homeland security, the fbi and all the government goon squads just trying to say "It's not terrorism" then of course businesses would be out of power, even ones that claim to have backups, we all know how those backups never seem to work when needed. A suicidal animal in this country could shut us down and further bankrupt the treasury, let's all pray no animals in the US are suicidal.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Tony Smith

    you mean our new roasted power-robbing squirrel overlords....bow down now!

    paris, because even she knows a piece of hard, stiff....erm,

    oh, never know what i mean

  46. Jeff

    Siege engines

    Any invasion plans for Switzerland are incomplete without provision for trebuchet-launched squirrels.

  47. James Anderson Silver badge

    This has probably happened before.

    Normal swiss german television is so boring that the vewers would probably not notice the screen had blanked out.

    The plucky squirrel chose his moment of martyrdom exceptionaly well as it was one of the few occasions when there was anything worth watching.

    Incidently does anyone know which organisation has claimed credit for our brave squiridea. The Red Acorn Faction, the Swiss Squirrel Liberation Organisation, the Squirrels Front For the Liberation of Zurich?

  48. Rolf Parker

    link update

  49. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: Emergency studio.

    Great idea. Shame that it'd serve no purpose as nobody would be watching. Something to do with the potential audience being unable to switch on their TV sets with the power out.

    Nice to see that it's not only our government that's a few beers short of a waffle iron*.

    *I don't know either. Something to do with Civil Service procurement apparently.

  50. Lickass McClippers
    Black Helicopters


    ...will rule the world one day, this is just the first of many stories that will surface. Mark my words, soon you'll be working for them...

  51. Tony


    'It was probably a suicide. Electrocution is the preferred method used by the ginger rodents.'

    And yet Mick Hucknall still won't take the hint.

  52. Richard Hebert

    let's change the headline a bit

    to " Scientists invent a better emergency cutoff switch. Top electrical engineers find using squirrels as emergency cutoff switches to be more efficient than traditional breakers .. more details pages 34-37 .. "

    The Humane society might object for a bit .. but heck .. it's them or us ..

    lets fry some Quaida butt ! ..


  53. Anonymous Coward

    wrong, wrong, wrong

    You're all very much mistaken if you think that our new overlords are squirrels. Oh no.

    My informant (c/o Mr B. Laden, No 1 Tora Bora Caves, Afghanistan) reliably informs me that this is just the start of a whole series of animal led disruptions.

    After being brainwashed with super sugary GM nuts and berries, our new animal antagonists are trained to attack at the heart of out electrical systems, nibbling through powercables on their way to animal mecca.

    I confidently predict we'll see bansai badgers taking out the power in Washington and Kamakazi Cows jumping across the third rail of our London Underground.

    Never be alone with an animal, they could be plotting against you now.

    We're all doooooooomed.

    Mines the one with the cuttle fish and a packet of Trill in the pocket

  54. Anonymous Coward

    just be thankful

    They're not tribbles.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But wasn't it this year...

    when a kamikaze cow did the "death from above" assault on an audi or volvo somewhere? Covert squirrel black ops squads aren't that uncommon here in the states and just yesterday, some rodent chewed through a 220 line outside our office and the local security contingent were on high alert! Hands were on their walkies and flashlights were up in the offensive position, waiting on some impending melee. The rabbits in my yard have been giving me the stink eye as of late, so I'm starting to grow concerned.

    Ironically, in response to a previous post, regarding the statement "if this had happened in the states...", well the last time we had a huge regional power outage, due to an overloaded power grid and poor regional planning by a couple of the large power companies, cities like Detroit, Columbus, parts of ohio, Pennsylvania and New York State were in the dark for 2 to 3 days. The "T" word did come up a few times. But yet again, since I'm naturally paranoid, I was the only kid on my block who had power, to catch the news that made that statement, because I had the foresight to purchase a big generator. But, as I said, it was due to poor design of the power grids and extremely high demand.

  56. Prof O. Und

    Except for surface-mount squirrels........

    do you think that they could me impedence-tested and some coloured bands put around their tails to indicate whether they'll short out the electricity supply, or just slightly lower the voltage?

  57. skeptical i

    Boris and Natasha spotted fleeing scene ...

    ... Bullwinkle vows revenge.

  58. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    In Switzerland... least you can be sure the squirrels roast on time.

    But I for one welcome our new nut-hoarding overlords.

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