baby squirrel rescue

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by deerfly, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. deerfly

    deerfly Opinicus iracibilus

    So Trey finishes up a late game and as we're walking back to the truck chatting about various plays in the game like we always do and I notice something under the right front wheel. As we get closer I see its a young squirrel drinking the water that puddled up from the A/C evaporator. Trey hasn't quite noticed it yet and is still talking about the game so I say, Trey check it out, a little squirrel under the truck. He's like cool, I guess he's thirsty.

    We keep getting closer and closer expecting the squirrel to bolt any second, but it just sits there lapping up what ever water it can get. We're right at the truck now and the squirrel hasn't budged. Squatting down under the truck we're both in its face, Trey from the rear and me the front. As I'm looking at it he appears pretty weak so I tell Trey he must be sick or maybe dehydrated, see if you can pick him up. Something will surely kill him in this condition. Trey puts his hand near the squirrel but is hesitant that it might bite him. So I slowly reach over a pick him up gently and the little guy was so weak and thirsty he didn't even flinch when I grabbed him, but kept trying to drink the water which had pretty much soaked into the asphalt.

    I handed him to Trey and said I guess we'll keep him for a while and see if he comes around. Thinking we can release him in the yard when he's ready, which is far more wooded than the few sparse scrub and turkey oaks at the ball park.  The name of the park is Anderson Snow, so the kids decided his name would be Andy, Andy Snow. So that's how it started. :)

    Trey holding Andy while we prepare the cat carrier as his temporary home.

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    For the first few days we gave him cherrios and soy milk, which he ate like crazy. After a day or so he was feeling more frisky, but we weren't certain he was ready to be cut loose.

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    So we gathered acorns from the yard and bought some parrot food to slowly introduce him to more natural foods. At first he wasn't too interested in the natural stuff, but little by little he started eating the sunflower seeds and peanuts in the parrot food and before much longer started into the acorns from the yard.

    Early on he would charge the cage opening and retreat to the back when we opened it to change his water or toss food in there. Which was a good thing since we planned to release him, but as the days went by he became more adjusted to us and would want to mess around. Of course the kids were falling in love with him.

    (btw- these are pictures after having him for about 3 weeks and we wanted to get some shots of him before we turned him loose)

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    I guess since I was usually the one to administer the soy milk he took to me too.

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    Chloe was always a little afraid he'd bite her, but over came that fear as he played around with her.
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    We had talked back and forth several times a day about whether he was ready to be on his own and also the kids wanting to get a big cage and just keep him as a pet. But having owned raccoons and possums caught as babies while young I knew it wasn't a good idea. They tolerate you but don't really domesticate and of course the boys get cantankerous as the hormones kick in. In this case, the squirrel was already weaned and on his own when we found him. Maybe if he was a hairless baby that fell from a nest and only knew us from the get go, he'd make a better pet. But he needed and deserved to be set free.

    I chose a wooded area where I planted a food plot adjacent. I also supplement the plot and area with corn during the fall and winter, especially during off acorn years, which this was one. The deer and turkeys and all the other squirrels work the area over but at least he'd have plenty of cover and food supplemented nearby.

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    After he was out he decided for one more romp with Chloe.
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    Mossy Oak still can't top this camo. :)
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    Here's his chosen tree, he's above Chloe's right shoulder facing the ground.
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    Enjoying a peanut after release.
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    This is a shot a little over a week after we release him. Its hard to see from the picture but he's sticking his head out of the little house we built for him.
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    We go down to look for him daily and usually see him somewhere nearby foraging for food. We know its him because he doesn't run off like the other wild squirrels around the property. We always toss a few peanuts up on the house and scatter corn around the base of his tree so he'd gets some extra calories without having to venture too far. On a few occasions he's come over to me for a treat and then scampers away. Yesterday after school he took a peanut from Trey and ran up a tree to eat it. Although he's not afraid of us, he does seem to be getting less and less tolerant of our presence, which is good. Hopefully, he'll do fine as he gets more adjusted to the area. Oh well, pretty cool experience for the kids and me too, figured I share it with ya'll.  :cool:
     
  2. tom_in_orl

    tom_in_orl Founder of Microskiff, Member of the Gheenoe Army

    Good stuff. Since my wife is a vet we have done this on occasion too. Kids love it. We released our right into the back yard. They are fully wild now but we catch them on pool enclosure looking in once and a while. Now you have me regretting not taking pictures. :-[
     

  3. Flyline

    Flyline Won "Do More With Less" Award!

    wow! that's really touching story! I have always loved animals which I do and owned jackrussels then loaded with squirrels all over the place in the back yard to have my dogs entertained. I gave wild squirrels loaded with yellow sweet corn on the fence for many years.  Now, I have too much squirrels running around and making nests in the backyard which is very neat! :)

    I give you and your kids  [smiley=1-thumbsup1.gif] [smiley=1-thumbsup1.gif] for taking care of your pet!  Awesome! :)
     
  4. MATT

    MATT Well-Known Member

    My cuz lives in Orlando and found a small new born squirrel the day after "Charlie" kept it and rased he with the goal of letting him go back in the yard. Charlie never left and still to this day rides around all day on the back of his very large dog.
     
  5. captnron

    captnron Guest

    First - Gotta love the shirt. ;D ;D ;D

    My grandfather was an avid squirrel hunter and even took a few with a 30-30 (head shot - he was good ;)) till the day of the "rescue" of the flying squirrel. Pretty much ended his hunting them.

    Is it the flash or does he have a lot of red?
     
  6. hoser3

    hoser3 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing Eric My daughter Zadie will love to see this.
     
  7. deerfly

    deerfly Opinicus iracibilus

    After we had him at home Trey made the comment that he didn't think he could hunt squirrels any more. :) I think he'll get through that over time. Me, it doesn't matter. I couldn't go out and shoot this particular squirrel, but nurturing one and releasing it doesn't change my feelings about hunting them.

    As far as the color, he's transitioning from a summer coat to winter. You can see some gray patches in a few of the pic's, but he's mostly reddish brown.
     
  8. Weedy

    Weedy Well-Known Member

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    Eric,
    Tooo Cool! I bet the kids had a blast with him by the way the pics look! I wish more people would do stuff like this with there kids! Great job dad!
    Weedy
     
  9. deerfly

    deerfly Opinicus iracibilus

    recent sightings :)

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  10. phishphood

    phishphood Beer is good, Beer is good, and stuff!

    DF and crew, that is a cool story. Enjoyed it very much.
     
  11. Un-shore

    Un-shore Well-Known Member

    You didn't give it a "Don't shoot me , I'm with Eric." tee shirt?
     
  12. madsnook

    madsnook Well-Known Member

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    That is by far one of the coolest reports I have ever read...and you built him his own crib!
     
  13. Taterides

    Taterides Well-Known Member

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    Nice read....Thanks for sharing.
     
  14. B.Lee

    B.Lee Well-Known Member

    What a cool post, thanks for sharing it!
     
  15. wesley76

    wesley76 Well-Known Member

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    Very cool, I had one for a while that we raised with a bottle. Called him Henry.
     
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