Hips don’t lie: Fat squirrel stuck in manhole cover rescued; then eats more

I’m going to shamelessly steal this entire story from the BBC site because it’s so damn funny. Click on the headline to go to it, but the entire text is below:


A red squirrel who got stuck halfway through a manhole cover thanks to his curvy hips is recovering after a lengthy rescue operation in Munich.

Initial attempts to free the animal by slathering him in olive oil failed, with his huge behind preventing him from squeezing his way out.

He was finally freed after animal rescue services lifted off the cover and eased his head through the hole.

Locals have nicknamed the squirrel “Olivio” after his oily encounter.

After the ordeal on Friday, an exhausted Olivio was wrapped in a warm towel and fed glucose, local media report.

Staff at a local animal shelter say Olivio is recovering well and has now moved on to a diet of Christmas nuts.

“He was almost dead,” Sabine Gallenberger from the Squirrel Protection Association told German media.

“Now he is eating a lot and sleeps all the time.”

The BBC was unable to verify the size of Olivio’s behind.


That last line is a classic.

Here’s the original headline from the German paper online, with the lovely German word for squirrel (click on screenshot to go to story auf Deutsch):


My translation:

Hips too wide

Squirrel stuck fast in manhole cover

Olivio can no longer free himself from the hole

h/t: Michael


  1. Jenny Haniver
    Posted December 8, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Anyone who laughs at this should be ashamed. This is unabashed, unvarnished, un-PC fatshaming, and of a poor, defenseless, big-butt animal, no less.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted December 8, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      While I do find this highly amusing (and good that they finally got the fat little critter unstuck),the BBC article links to this related content http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37196629 — “Norway man rescued after climbing into public toilet,” replete with photo, which I hope is authentic. I find the antics of this member of the homo sapiens species truly ridiculously astounding, and I never fail to marvel at the idiotic situations we get ourselves into. I don’t care who thinks I shouldn’t laugh at this.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted December 8, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        That’s tragic. And ludicrous. But mostly funny. It is possible to laugh and sympathise at the same time.

        The poor guy was, in fact, being incredibly heroic trying to rescue his friend’s phone. Also stupid. But mostly heroic. I cannot imagine any circumstance (including someone pointing a gun at me) that would make me dive into a composting toilet.


        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted December 8, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          Yes, it is possible to laugh and sympathise at the same time. And he damned sure was trying to help his friend, albeit in a scatologically Quixotic endeavor. Now, that’s a friend. I think this is an excellent example of altruism, altruism run amok, or should it be “run a-muck”?

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted December 9, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink


            Oh dear. What is there about this subject that inspires dreadful puns and, umm, toilet humour.



        • eric
          Posted December 9, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          When you said “heroic” I was expecting “the man’s kitten” or “the man’s baby.” No, I don’t particularly find it “heroic” that he went after his friend’s phone. It was a nice thing to try, for sure. He was being helpful and considerate, yes. But I think my standard for bona fide Hero is a bit higher than attempting to rescue someone else’s cell phone from the commode.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted December 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            So you would inextricably tie heroism to the worthiness of the cause?

            By your reasoning, nobody on the ‘wrong’ side in a war could possibly be heroic?

            How about the mediaeval knights* who went on quixotic quests for daft reasons** – were they by definition prohibited from being heroic?

            *not including the scum who were most of the Crusaders, of course

            **can’t think of any off-hand but old stories are full of ’em

            (My cynical definition of ‘heroic’ also includes sub-categories of ‘bloody stupid’ and ‘you wouldn’t want to be standing near this guy when he does his hero thing’)


      • bric
        Posted December 9, 2016 at 3:55 am | Permalink

        Devotees of Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow will experience a little deja vu at this point

        Down the toilet, lookit me,
        What a silly thing ta do!
        Hope nobody takes a pee,
        Yippy dippy dippy doo…

  2. rickflick
    Posted December 8, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Gullydeckel? I’ll try to remember that. It might not stick in my memory past Dezember.

  3. Merilee
    Posted December 8, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Das ist kein Einhörnchen🐾🐾

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted December 8, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Ich bin ein Einhörnchen.

      • Posted December 8, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Wir sind alle Einhörnchen.

      • Merilee
        Posted December 8, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Wie sagt mann “chipmunk” auf deutsch?

        • JohnnieCanuck
          Posted December 8, 2016 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          Backenhörnchen, according to Google translate, but if you ask it to translate it back into English, you get ‘baking squirrel’.

          • Merilee
            Posted December 8, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

            My backyard squirrels are busy baking Xmas cookies to carry them through the season up in their nests🐾🐾

          • Merilee
            Posted December 8, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            Now I remember : Streifenhörnchen – striped squirrel.

          • Merilee
            Posted December 8, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            And I think the “Eich” comes from acorn. Not sure about the Hörnchen. Little horns?

            • dargndorp
              Posted December 8, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

              If Wikipedia is to be believed, Eichhörnchen is etymologically grounded in the indoeuropean root “eig”, meaning to move around quickly or forcefully.

              In modern parlance, “Eich” would refer to oak and “Hörnchen” means little horn(s). But that seems to be retconned.

              • Merilee
                Posted December 9, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

                “Retconned”. Thanks for the new word auf Englisch!

    • bric
      Posted December 9, 2016 at 3:59 am | Permalink


      Das ist kein Mann! –
      Brennender Zauber
      zückt mir ins Herz;
      feurige Angst
      fasst meine Augen:
      mir schwankt und schwindelt der Sinn!

      • Merilee
        Posted December 9, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Nicht ein Mann
        Sondern ein großes Eichhörnchen

        ( might prefer the sqrl to Siegfried…)

        • bric
          Posted December 10, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

          He is a strange boy, but remember he’d never seen a woman before, his best friend is a bear and he’s about to fall in love with his auntie . . .

          • Merilee
            Posted December 10, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

            So I guess we’d better cut him some slack🐸
            Maybe these plots are why the only Wagner I really like is T&I.

  4. George
    Posted December 8, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    RIP John Glenn. A true American hero – at least to those growing up in the 1960s.

    If you have never read it, check out Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff.” Putting aside his latest twaddle, there was a time when Wolfe could really write.

  5. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Although I didn’t have to resort to olive oil, I was called upon last spring to rescue a pair of toads (Bufo bufo) that had got themselves into a somewhat similar predicament to this squirrel.

    Toads converge on ponds for mating in the spring time and once in the water the males grasp the larger females from behind in a process known as amplexus so they can release their sperm over the spawn as she lays it. Competition for females is intense and it is common to see numerous males all clasping onto the same female in one frenzied ball and so some males try to steal a march on the competition by grabbing onto a female before she even reaches the pond.

    This was the case with the pair I rescued which had got stuck trying to squeeze through the mesh of some wire chicken netting that had been nailed down over a board-walk. The female had pushed her head through the mesh but it is doubtful that she would have been able to squeeze through on her own and there was definitely no way she could get through with the male clinging to her back. He was not letting go however and as he grimly clung on she grimly continued in the hopeless effort of moving forwards through the netting. Trying to push her backwards was to no avail and in spite of my interventions she continued to try to press forwards whilst he refused to let go. I was only able to release her when I finally succeeded in pulling the netting away from the board walk and could then work the mesh back over her head.

    Having got the pair free I released them back onto the woodland floor and on they continued towards their intended nuptials as if nothing had happened.

    • eric
      Posted December 9, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      So…you’re saying froggie went a-courtin’, and he did ride?

      • merilee
        Posted December 9, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink


      • Jonathan Wallace
        Posted December 9, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        Pretty much!

  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Gullydeckel is such a better word than manhole!

  7. HaggisForBrains
    Posted December 10, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink


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