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A squirrel has become an online sensation after it was reportedly "detained" when a woman called police to complain it was stalking her.

The panicked woman was unable to shake the rodent in the western German city of Bottrop, so turned to the authorities in desperation on Wednesday, police told Reuters.

North-Rhine Westphalia police took in the squirrel and found it was suffering exhaustion.

Officers were helping the animal recover by feeding it pieces of apple and honey tea. A video uploaded to the police force's Facebook page showing the animal being fed had been watched 400,000 times by Friday morning.

The animal will be transferred to a local animal shelter once it has recovered, according to Reuters.

Reuters contributed.