A couple of amateur Manchester taxidermists have gained serious notoriety this week after a post advertising their headless squirrel stationery holders went viral on social media.
The business, which is apparently run by a pair of sisters local to the Heaton Park area, decided to advertise on a Facebook page called The Mancunian Daily as a way to drum up some more interest in their morbid creations.
Little did they know just quite how much attention they would get.
The original Facebook post has now been viewed over five million times and has amassed over 42,000 comments on The Mancunian Daily page alone.
Short and succinct, it reads: “Hi my name is Karen, I upcycle dead squirrels I find in Heaton Park. Perfect holder’s for pens, cutlery etc.
“My husband uses the heads for golf so nothing gets wasted. £10 each or 2 for £35. Tia xx”
Shocking and horrifying some, whilst genuinely intriguing others, the post’s accompanying images show decapitated, hollowed-out squirrels with crossed arms and, in some cases, pink painted nails and rhinestone collars.
It has since been viewed by millions around the globe after being shared widely across Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, and has attracted some very interesting comments, to say the least.
Many have speculated whether ‘Karen’ is real – and even more wondered aloud about the dead squirrels, how exactly she was finding them and what her husband does with the heads to ensure ‘nothing gets wasted’.
One person asked: “She seems to come across a lot of dead squirrels!!!! I only see beautiful live ones thank goodness! Upcycle??? Don’t be falling asleep in the bloody park!!”
Another said: “God im sure people will be going nuts for these, Like somthing out of a f**king horror movie, i mean you’ve even painted the one with the collars f**king nails pink”
The person who claims to be the creator of the rodent accessories wishes to remain anonymous, but came forward to The Manc to address the negativity she’s received.
She told us that the taxidermy business is actually run by her and her sister and that although she was upset by some of the comments they now have ‘enough bookings to last a lifetime’.
She says they’ve received hundreds of orders through The Mancunian Daily page.
She told The Manc that she first began experimenting with the practice a few years ago – initially operating on dead birds her cats would bring into the house.
Then, having stumbled across a lot of dead squirrels on walks in the park with her dog, she decided to branch out and ‘upcycle’ them, rather than leaving them behind for the foxes.
She said: “I only do arts and crafts as a side line job. My dog gets walked every day round Heaton Park and we have found a lot of already dead squirrels nearly daily as we walk through bushes and not foot paths.
“I started taxidermy a few years ago on dead birds my cats bring in my house. I decided to do something with the dead squirrels as it would be inhumane to leave them there to get picked up by the foxes.”
As for what her husband does with the heads? She clarified, “No I don’t stuff them. He takes them into the shed where he keeps his golf stuff and discards of them on the gollys I think but I have seen him chipping in the garden but I don’t know what he is hitting.”
Screenshots shared with The Manc show one customer, based in Germany, asking for four squirrel pots via International shipment – adding “it would be awesome if I could get 4 fat ones so Beer cans fit in.”
Another potential buyer has messaged to ask, “have you got any squirrells left without all the sparkles please ta.”
Of course, not everyone is so keen on the idea of using a dead squirrel as cutlery or stationery pot – and the Facebook page, which is managing orders on the pair’s behalf, has also received a lot of negative engagement too.
Suffice to say, there’s been a lot of interest in the squirrel pots – both negative and positive.
Commenting on the post, the Mancunian Daily admin told us, “We are shocked that the post has got over 5 and a half million views and still going, but we are very grateful for all the new followers to our page.
“Although some of the comments have been nasty we like to promote a positive page as we continue to grow.”
If anyone wants to order a squirrel holder, they can do so by messaging The Mancunian Dailyhere.
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Scott McTominay jokes he’s ‘fuming’ he didn’t score a hat-trick against Chelsea as he reflects on Man United’s mentality
Scott McTominay has joked he’s “fuming” with himself after failing to score a hat-trick in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday nightand shed some light on the mentality around Old Trafford.
McTominay starred in the Red Devils’ win over Mauricio Pochettino’s side on a cold night at home, managing to bag a brace with a goal in the first and second half to get his squad over the line, but he himself said he could have had more.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, the 26-year-old said he and the squad knew they needed to drum up a reaction after the Newcastle disappointment, adding that contributing more goals is something he wants to keep working on and insisting that plenty of people back him to do so.
Confessing that his mum, dad and grandad have all been encouraging him to “get in the box” and that he just needs to “believe in [him]self and go for it”, the Scotsman did go on to quip he was “fuming” to not grab a third as he shook his head went on to shake and reveal a wry smile.
Commentator and presenter Stewart Gardner went on to list McTominay’s impressive stats this season, having now scored 14 goals in his last 33 appearances for club and country. A seriously good rate from a midfielder typically entrusted to help link play and break things up in the middle of the park.
Now boasting half a dozen goals and an assist across all competitions so far this campaign, he sits as the club’s leading goalscorer in the Premier League with five finishes to his name — with only Bruno Fernandes having contributed more (five goals and five assists) — he’s genuinely become one of Man United’s main goal threats.
While he recently rubbished talk that he played as a striker regularly coming up through the youth academy, simply having been deployed for the odd game in reality, he has always had a shot on him and it isn’t the first time he’s bagged a winner or a big goal for the Reds. This wasn’t a bad one either:
Chatting with the pundits on Amazon Prime Sport, he reiterated that he could have had “one or two more” on another night and agreed that the performance against Newcastle in the previous fixture was “pretty abysmal”, holding his hands up to admit that it was “no way near good enough”.
Reflecting on the later chance he had to seal the hat-trick towards the end of the game, he said he simply needed to “calm down on the last one”.
As for the mentality to get the result during a difficult period where the club remained under a lot of scrutiny from pundits and fans alike, McTominay went on to say that the manager is responsible for the way they played and some “lighter training sessions to keep energy levels up” definitely helped.
Regardless, he was sure to not get ahead of himself and assured ten Hag‘s team were still taking things a game at a time. You can watch the full highlights from Manchester United vs Chelsea down below: