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COVINGTON, LA (WGNO) – A squirrel on the North Shore is alive and still gathering nuts after apparently taking a bullet.

“How is he alive? How did that bullet get there?” wonders scenic and wildlife photographer Christine Regusa, who discovered the bullet-proof squirrel in her Covington backyard.”

Regusa  took a photograph that shows what appears to be a .22 caliber bullet dangling from behind the squirrel’s right arm, “I was on the bench over there. Squirrel was right by the tree. Didn’t even look at the picture after I took it until the next night. Then I realized, oh, no! It’s a bullet!”

She dubbed the neighborhood varmint “Bullet Squirrel.”

“Clearly the squirrel has been shot,” says Dr. Rose Lemarie at Southeast Veterinary Specialists.

Lemarie says even with a .22 caliber lodged in its side, the squirrel’s prognosis is good, “Luckily for this squirrel the bullet went in at an angle.  It didn’t affect bone. It doesn’t look like it affected nerve or really even muscle.”

Regusa says “Bullet Squirrel” is elusive, rarely ever seen.

However, the wounded critter walked into  frame of a WGNO news camera, in Covington intending only to speak with Regusa about her photo.

Bullet Squirrel made his presence known, climbing out of a tree into plain sight.

“He jumps from the fence to the tree, then jumps from the tree top to the other tree top,” says Regusa, noticing nothing different from other squirrels.

With the exception of a bullet piercing through its body.

Dr. Lemarie says she doesn’t think Bullet Squirrel is experiencing too much pain, “I think it’s probably uncomfortable. Judging from his function, he’s not in a lot of pain cause he’s functioning pretty well.”

Since squirrels are not migratory, the doctor says Bullet Squirrel was shot someplace close, “Then who is shooting off guns in my subdivision,” says Regusa.

“The bullet could potentially come out on its own,” says Lemarie. “The best thing would be to take a small blade and actually remove the bullet. It wouldn’t take much to get the bullet out of there.”

“It’s shocking. It’s sad,” says Regusa who’s been monitoring wildlife in her backyard for a number of years. “This is one of my squirrels from before that is carrying shrapnel. He’s got a bullet, ya know. Telling his New Orleans tale.”

Southeast Veterinary Specialists-

Email Christine

Regusa’s  FLickr public link is–