Chicago politician who warned of the dangers of "aggressive" squirrels was taken to hospital after a "kamikaze squirrel" charged into the wheels of his bicycle, sending him smashing onto the road and fracturing his skull.
Howard Brookins, a member of the Chicago City Council, spoke out in October about the growing menace of squirrels. He described the rodents as having mutated into "supersized squirrels" that he said were munching through the city's rubbish bins. He called for a cull.
But on November 13, the squirrels fought back.
Brookins was cycling along the Cal-Sag Trail - a 42km route through Illinois, towards the Indiana border - when the "attack" happened.
A squirrel dashed into the spokes of Brookins' road bike, killing itself and throwing the politician to the ground.
"I can think of no other reason for this squirrel's actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge," he said.
"Some lady came along the trail and found me lying there next to my bicycle and called 911.
"I only saw the squirrel when I came to and saw it stuck in the wheel."
He was taken to hospital with a broken nose, a fractured skull and five or six teeth knocked out. He was operated on and kept in hospital for a week, informing his constituents at the weekend on Facebook and explaining why he had missed council sessions.
He was released on Monday to begin a month-long recovery, and will require further surgery.
Brookins described the accident as the closest he has ever come to dying.
"I could have broken my neck," he said.
If any squirrels visit his home in the coming weeks, he said: "I'm calling animal control!"