News On Japan

Squirrel eating poisonous mushroom?

SAPPORO, Oct 18 (News On Japan) - A squirrel caught munching on a poisonous mushroom in northern Japan sparked hot debate on social media last week.

The squirrel is seen holding down the mushroom with its front paws and taking a bite of what is known as the 'Amanita muscaria' (Fly Agaric).

If humans consume it, they can experience symptoms such as dizziness and nausea within about 30 minutes, and there are cases where it can even be fatal.

Two nights after the squirrel was captured on video, a deer appeared at the same location.

The cap of the mushroom is missing, with only the stem remaining.

The deer sniffs it intensely before munching away. While the stem also contains poison, the deer devours it without hesitation.

Professor Kenji Suenaga from the Graduate School of Science at Kobe University said, "While it's poisonous for humans, the toxic component gives it a delicious taste for creatures like squirrel and deer. It's believed that they have a resistance to the poison."

The story doesn't end there.

The morning after the deer ate the mushroom, the squirrel appeared. Realizing that the mushroom was gone, it frantically began searching everywhere.

It was a bittersweet reality for the squirrel, realizing 'you shouldn't save your favorite food for last.'


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