Five infant squirrels have been rescued after being found tied together by their tails.
The entanglement is thought to have happened by chance with the giant knot forming as the young greys moved about their nest and each other.
Grass, twigs, and bits of plastic had also become interwoven into the entanglement.
A member of the public discovered the bizarre scene in Wisconsin, in the US, on Wednesday, and took them to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at the state’s Humane Society – where vets worked to get them free.
“You can imagine how wiggly and unruly (and nippy!) this frightened, distressed ball of squirrelly energy was, so our first step was to anesthetize all five of them at the same time,” officials wrote on Facebook.
With the animals out cold, vets spent 20 minutes unraveling what they called a “Gordian knot” of squirrel and nest material.
“It was impossible to tell whose tail was whose, and we were increasingly concerned because all of them had suffered from varying degrees of tissue damage to their tails caused by circulatory impairment,” the center wrote.
But once loose, it said, the squirrels were left apparently unaffected by the tangle.