Squirrel wins fight to stay in Canada
CTV.ca News Staff
Canada's newest resident is small, furry and likes to eat nuts. But this refugee rodent is also tough, taking on the federal government when Ottawa tried to kick the squirrel out.
It was announced Friday that the U.S.-born baby flying squirrel, named Sabrina, can now stay in Canada, despite government efforts to deport her.
The squirrel was brought into Canada last year by Steve Patterson, a Mississauga, Ont., nature lover who wanted to use the squirrel for talks with children.
Patterson bought Sabrina in Indiana. When he brought her back to Canada, he declared her and was waved through. However, a monkey pox scare in the U.S. had caused Canada to ban the importation of rodents.
Federal officials realized their mistake and tried to get the squirrel back, even sending police officers to Patterson's home to retrieve the rodent. Patterson refused them.
Patterson called in Brian Shiller and Clayton Ruby to help him keep Sabrina in Canada, after Ottawa took him to Federal Court. Ottawa lost, and said it would appeal.
The Globe and Mail then featured the story, and the newspaper says shortly after, Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan and Agriculture Minister Andy Mitchell changed the Health of Animals Act.
It now allows squirrels and other recently banned rodents allowed into Canada for "educational purposes."
Despite all the effort and time spent keeping Sabrina in the country, Patterson said he would do it all again. In fact, he's considering getting a friend for Sabrina.
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