Raising Baby Squirrels

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Stackie

I bite.
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
6,399
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Some of you probably know from my facebook that I am acting squirrel mom to two little orphan squirrel babies. Just thought I would share some cute pictures of them.

Let me preface by saying I am a veterinary technician and a licensed assistant wildlife rehabilitator. It is illegal to take in and try to raise any wildlife you find, or to keep them as pets. If you do find an injured/orphaned wild animal, contact your local vet office, DNR, or wildlife rehabilitator. I put this in "chit chat" instead of other pets because they are not pets. ;-)

The first baby is "Hercules" (his rescuer named him..hehe). We believe he is around 3 weeks old now. He was rescued from a cat and his rescuer attempted to return him to his mom, but it didn't work out so now he's here with us. He gets syringe fed every 3 hours and is finally starting to get some hair. You can see his scar on his back from the cat.

hercules.jpg


squirrelbaby.jpg


Next is "Chip". He was very skinny and dehydrated when he came to us, but he has bounced back and is a little stinker now. As soon as you stick your hand in his cage to feed him, he latches on and climbs up your arm. We are in the process of beginning to wean him to dry food, so we are starting to leave him alone more by only syringe feeding him 2 times a day. Once he gets big and old enough, he will move to an outside enclosure for a few weeks where we will attempt to teach him to be a "wild squirrel" before he is released.

When he first got here, you can tell how skinny he was:
baby2.jpg


A week later, eating his big kid food (sorry for the poor quality)
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Our racoon (who is in how to be a wild racoon 101) felt left out, so here he is too. :p
coon.jpg
 

Jenn

ZooKeeper
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Jan 30, 2009
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Location
Washington State
OMG! I'm totally in love with them! I'm so envious that you are participating in their care until they can be released again! I wish them the very best.
 

kerri101

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
404
Location
NH
OHHHHH so cute !!!! Glad you got them and are able to care for them until they are big enough to go out for themselves!! I really love that raccoon so much!!! and have never seen squirrel babies !!! Ty for sharing the pics
 

Lynn & The Chins

The Chinchilla WhisKerer
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Jan 29, 2009
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2,240
Location
Denver, CO
They are sooo cute!!! Lucky you!!!

I swear, next spring, I'm standing under trees every time we have a big, windy storm and pray that one will be blown down to ME!!! :hearts:
 

Stackie

I bite.
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Jan 29, 2009
Messages
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Location
Indianapolis, IN
We got 2 more babies dropped off today, brother and sister. These ones are older fox squirrels (we believe around 7 weeks). The people that found them left them for several days hoping mom would show up, but after a pretty bad storm last night they found them very weak and cold this morning. They were brought to us just in time. We were afraid they weren't going to make it, but after some pedialyte, subQ's, and formula, they have bounced back very quickly. We are scared the little boy might be blind, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that it's just due to being weak.

Here's a picture of the little boy.
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Jenn

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Lynn, I think she said 7 weeks old.

Stacie, how long do you care for them before releasing them? How difficult is it to be a surrogate parent to a squirrel? To such young squirrels?
 

Stackie

I bite.
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
Messages
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Indianapolis, IN
It's really not all that hard. They have all taken to syringe feeding really well. The one guy we are working on weaning now onto dry dog food started eating it without any hesitation..we'll have to see how the youngest guy does once he gets old enough. The ideal release time is 12 weeks old. A couple weeks prior to that, we put them in a cage outside, preferably with others, so they can learn how to be a "wild" squirrel and start losing their independence on humans. Once they hit the 12 week old point, we open the cage and allow them to move outside it on their own terms.
 

chinchillin2005

Shadow's mom
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
199
Gosh, they are freaking cute!!!!! I wish I had your job! I've always wanted to take care of squirrels, I love wild animals. I bet they would love nuts! Best job - taking care of wild/sick/orphan animals, than setting them free. :*-)
 

DaddyslilDimwit

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
147
Location
NJ
I live in a Trailer park and we have easily 100+ stray cats, it's out of hand. I've been here since April and have only ever seen 2 squirrels, both babies that have been taken by cats.
I managed to get one to a local rehabilitation center, the other one it was too late for :(
It is awesome that you have an opportunity in life to save lives of living creatures.
I really respect what you do. Keep up the good work!
 

6Dusters

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
1,813
Location
Richmond Virginia
Here is a photo of a little guy who spent the night with us a couple years ago. He was blown out of a tree during a bad storm. My neighbor didn't know what to do with him and the rescue people were swamped and couldn't pick him up anytime soon. It really was a nasty storm.

So I took him to my house and warmed him up asap. Put some fluids in him and he perked up a bit. I did have some goats milk and he drank some. I dropped him off at the animal rehab center the next day. They were amazed at what great shape he was in. I was shocked to see more then 50 babies being taken care of. I stayed for a bit and help feed as many as I could. The ladies said I was a pro. I told them hand feeding chin kits was about the same.
Best of luck with the little guys.
 

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