September 28, 2009

Operation Squirrel

Caution: Do not read further if you are a vegetarian and anti-animal killing!!

Some photos are deliberately out of focus......

During the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri holidays my family declared war on the squirrels which we have been very fond of until very recently. Lovely pets can become deadly pests.

Firstly one whole tree of longans (already edible) disappeared overnight.

Then my beloved and absolutely faithful mango tree failed to deliver the normal sweet mangoes. Every fruit has a hole in it. Most of my friends have have been enjoying the mangoes since the 1990's.

Then my coconut trees no longer produce enough fruits for friends who drop by for a thirst quenching drink.

And finally my durian tree which is bearing fruit after several years of infertility is losing fruit after fruit. Its blooms were beautiful covering several branches a few months ago and we became joyful like expectant parents. Friends even dropped by and became fascinated by the stages of development.

Our garden became the hunting ground of the squirrels.

Finally enough is enough.

A semi automatic is the selected weapon. At six a.m. in the morning the shooting began. Eleven fell but we were only able to pick up four which were near our garden. The others were fairly deep in the thicket. One or two fell into the river running to the east of our house.

By seven the squirrels were skinned and ready for the table. We had two dishes. One was smoked squirrel which was tasty. The other dish was squirrel steamed with specially selected Chinese herbs.

The lovely durians.

The tail of a squirrel left outside as a warning to other squirrels. Wonder if they know and understand the message.

Various stages of the bbq...skinned squirrels!

Panggang or BBQ squirrel

Bones of the squirrels.

Steamed squirrel with special Chinese Herbs.

The whole of Miri is actually quite sick of squirrels which have been terrorizing the fruit trees. Some action must be taken! They are no longer the cute and pretty animals we used to love watching. When their number is big trouble begins....

We might put up a sign in squirrel language "Poachers will be persecuted!"

Disclaimer : My apologies to all vegetarians for this post.


wenn said...

pity those squirrels..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Wenn

Nope..they have been creating too much havoc...all the neighbours are up in arms too...and some use poison and whatever else they have....

Thanks for visiting.

Superman said...

I always heard my father telling story that my uncle use to catch squirrel when he is still a kids with bare hand. He will chase the squirrel around until he catch it. I never try squirrel meat before but my parent said it is very tasty and sweet. Maybe next time I can follow you to catch squirrel and eat it. :)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Superman would be interesting...we don't catch..we shoot.

By the way the squirrels are so clever that they cannot be trapped.

However I heard that one man used a radio tied to a tree to make lots of noise to prevent the squirrels from getting near the trees or garden. He was successful.

May be we should jot down all the ways we can use to get rid of squirrels and protect our fruits....

I can confirm again that squirrel meat is tasty especially if cooked in banana leaves with asam jawa and lemon grass..

I will try to braise it next time....

My neighbours think that we are all being visited by hundreds of them every day...Yesterday we counted four on our coconut trees(again!!)


William said...

We ate squirrels when I was young. They are quite good. By the way, asthma sufferer may use squirrel for treatment!

Oh, I think superman's father is really super fast! Seeing the speed squirrel climb a tree, there is no way anyone can chase them up the tree. Even on the ground, they are very fast.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Sarawakania, I guess there comes a time enough is enough. I agree they can be a pest....I guess there is no big animals around or eagles, or cats to stop their population growth.
Here too we have these pesky fellows, but for some reason or other I only see the same 5 squirrels past three years.
I think its the racoons or foxes that slows their population.
And yes, these fellows are smart too.

But eating them? I'll take a pass, ha ha.
Have a nice day, Lee.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi William
Oh you ate squirrels too. That is quite interesting. Yes squirrels are very fast.
Thanks for visiting. Are you back in Miri?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Uncle Lee
Yes recently in Miri everyone has become very aware that there are more squirrels than ever before. More development has taken place so there are fewer fruit trees around.
You are lucky to have only five in the last few years.
You won't be missing much if you give them a pass...Have a good day too...

Greenspot said...

Hi Sarawakiana,

When I was young I also heard that eating squirrel meat can cure asthma. Don't knowhow true that is.

Eveloping the tree trunk at the base of fruit tree with zinc sheet is one good way of prevent squirrels from climbing up the tree as is often done on durian trees, I observe.


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Greenspot
Thanks for the tip but these squirrels which have been terrorizing my garden can "fly" from the coconut trees and mango trees

Yes so many people tell me about the squirrel meat as a cure for asthma.

Ah Ngao said...

besides eating this squirrels,heasay eating labi-labi,musang(wild cat),flying fox,pangolins ,monitor lizards...,at the end i dont know whether which is which,hahah

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao
The Chinese can find a few hundred reasons for eating something and a few hundred benefits for eating some herbs because of their long history.


Anonymous said...

You cooked it all wrong. Squirrel is very tasty, but barbecue or frying leaves it too tough. after skinning, cut the squirrel into four pieces (both front legs, both back legs, and then the middle. Most of the meat is on the legs as you would expect. Also, there is a small musk sack in the bend of the knee. Remove that to improve the overall flavor of the meat. Let it soak overnight in a meat tenderizer solution.

The next day put the squirrel pieces into a baking bag. I prefer a gravy made from cream of chicken or cream of mushroom. Either will work, but chicken bullion will enhance the flavor. Also, I like to cook with a lot of vinegar, black pepper, and hot cayenne peppers, but that is a matter of taste. You can add a bit of flour if you want a heavier gravy, but that can be made after you finish.

Place the baking bag in the oven, usually about 350 degrees. I tend to cook until the meat falls away from the bone. It will separate from the bone, but don't overcook at this point.

It is a meal fit for a squirrel king.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

What you have described really makes me want to go out and shoot one!!

It is a good recipe indeed. Next time I will go and do likewise!!

Thanks. And I suppose you are king where eating is concerned!!

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