NEW ORLEANS - In the Lake Vista neighborhood of New Orleans, neighbors live along lush, tree-lined lanes in harmony with nature.
But, this week nature attacked.
"All of a sudden I felt something on my back and it was a squirrel," Gary Prechter said. "I grabbed it and I flung it down on the lane and it turned around and came back at me. It attached itself to my ankle and started biting me and scratching me and I tried to get it off as best I could."
Prechter is one of at least four people who've had violent encounters with Lake Vista neighborhood squirrels in recent days.
The pastor at St. Pius Catholic Church confirms two women were attacked in his parking lot after Sunday mass.
Another man was reportedly assaulted by a squirrel that managed to get into his house.
"I'm telling everybody in the neighborhood beware of the squirrels," Prechter said. "Don't feed them any longer. They're not you're friend."
The squirrel attacks have Lake Vista neighbors keeping their situational awareness.
"I haven't seen any aggressive squirrels, usually I'm walking with the dog and they're running away from me," neighbor Brian Ferrara said. "They are usually afraid of the people. They are usually running away."
Prechter is now receiving a painful series of shots for rabies as a precaution.
"I paid my daughter ten bucks to take the garbage out to the lane because I'm not going outside," Prechter said. "I'm wearing boots and long pants to my series of rabies shots set in and then I'm ready to take on the world."
The staff at St. Pius reported the incident involving the two parishioners to New Orleans Animal Control which is now taking steps to trap the offenders.
The city is looking for two squirrels of interest, living not far from the church
Once they are caught, the state veterinarian has agreed to test them for rabies.
A city spokeswoman passed on some advice on how to live with nature.
She said keep your distance and don't feed wild animals, it desensitizes there natural instinct to steer clear of humans.