Woman Trains Squirrels to Attack Ex-Boyfriend-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A Michigan woman was arrested for training squirrels to attack her ex-boyfriend, who lost two fingers and a testicle in squirrel attacks.

The Truth:

A satirical article about a woman being arrested for training squirrels to attack her ex-boyfriend has been mistaken for a factual report.

The article appeared at World News Daily Report under the headline, “Woman Arrested for Training Squirrels to Attack Her Ex-boyfriend,” on March 31, 2017. The report, which was shared more than 150,000 times on Facebook within a week, begins:

45-year old Janice Smith was arrested this morning by officers of the Detroit Police Department, for allegedly capturing numerous squirrels and training them to attack her former lover.

The victim, 51-year old James Robinson, was presumably attacked by the rodents on more than a dozen occasions over the last month.

These attacks caused him many serious injuries, including the loss of two fingers and one testicle, bitten off by his attackers.

The poor man had no idea why squirrels kept attacking him until he saw his ex-girlfriend, a former circus animal trainer, cheering the animals during one of the attacks.

Taken out of context, many readers mistakenly believed that a woman had actually been arrested for training squirrels to attack her ex-boyfriend. However, World News Daily Report’s disclaimer states that the site, “assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people –  are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.”

Given all that, we’re calling reports that a Michigan woman was arrested for training squirrels to attack her ex-boyfriend “fiction.”

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 04/05/2017
training squirrels to attack
A satirical article about a woman training squirrels to attack her ex-boyfriend has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media.