No more free lunch for sneaky south Tampa squirrels - FOX 13 News

No more free lunch for sneaky south Tampa squirrels

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Some playmates are not as friendly as others at Anderson Park in Tampa.

Some are downright squirrelly.

"He smells your cookies," said Darla Calderon.

Calderon is a nanny who comes here often, and can tell you first-hand about squirrels.

"They go for whatever they want, smell, they're in it, they don't care. If you show them, they come right back," she said.

Others have physical evidence.

"This is a bag that the squirrels got into when I forgot to close it ," Kathy Williams pointed out.

Park visitors are over it and so are park officials. The squirrels, they say, will have to go.

"The plan is to get the aggressive ones first. The ones that actually come running when you bring food out, and try and trap those immediately," said Bob Smith of Smitty's Trapping Company.

Smith will spend a week trapping squirrels.

"When people feed wild animals, this is what can happen," he said.

For the squirrels, it is like a buffet.

"It was probably sitting out on that bench or those tables, and they just grab it," said Judy Tackney.

The City of Tampa understands that trapping and releasing the squirrels probably won't be a permanent solution since others are bound to come back. So they're planning on building squirrel feeders and keeping an eye out for people who feed them.

"I hope that more come, because the kids love them," Calderon said.

Smith says they won't have to wait long. He said less aggressive ones will move in and the ones he relocates won't go hungry.

"They will revert to their natural thing, which is to forage for food," he said.

While the unsuspecting squirrels enjoy their final south Tampa feast, Darla hopes people have learned a lesson.

"People have created habits for them, so I think the people have more so created it. But they're going to have to pay for it because they don't know to not be aggressive," she said.

The trapping will begin Tuesday morning.

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