It seems Russians have gone nuts for squirrels.

The animals have been disappearing from parks all across the country - to be turned into house pets.

It's reached the point where the government has even stepped up patrols to protect the furry little varmint.

Some animal lovers think the only way to stop the practice is to increase the penalties for poaching squirrels, others argue it's merely a fad.

Authorities are warning folks that the animals aren't domesticated and could turn vicious.