Alton Towers theme park has been forced to
ban a daredevil squirrel from one of its rides
as its antics pose a health and safety risk.

The cheeky rodent has been causing
headaches for operators by getting in
the way of improvement work on
an attraction at the resort.

Workers noticed it was riding the revamped
Sonic Spinball roller coaster as it was tested
in the mornings and joining visitors
who were offered an early go on it
before the official opening.

A spokesman for the Staffordshire theme park
said: "It was getting in the way of builders who
were painting. They couldn't carry on because
they would end up with paw prints in the paint.
And we can't have anything on the track when
the roller coaster is going round."

Alarms were installed that emit a warning
noise inaudible to human ears but
designed to ensure the squirrel,
nicknamed Sonic, avoids
the ride in future.

Morwenna Angove, sales and marketing
director at the Alton Towers resort, said:
"Unfortunately Sonic's behaviour is a danger
both to our guests and himself and so we're
doing all we can to ensure that he stays away
from the ride. Banning a squirrel from a roller
coaster is certainly unusual but I suppose
there's a first time for everything."

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