When Squirrels Fly

Baby squirrels

My kids love animals. We have a dog and a half (I’ll explain another time) and two fish. We are ok pet owners but there just isn’t enough time and space for any more pets. I try to make up for that by letting the kids pet sit from time to time. We’ve watched the usual, fish, cats, dogs and crabs. The unusual, sugar glider and duck. Which brings us to our newest set of visitors.

Squirrels

Yes, I said it, we have three squirrels living in a shoebox in our house. Please don’t tell my mother.

Here is the story. We were having a delightful afternoon at a pool party when all of the sudden there was some commotion in a tree behind us and a very loud squeal. We noticed that the dog had something rodent-like in her mouth. The next thing I know Hubby Roger is holding up what appears to be a baby squirrel. We found the other two siblings close by. They fell about 20 feet out of the nest. I am a little baffled that they not only survived the fall but did not get eaten by the dog. These guys are tough. We watched them for the next few hours hoping that the mother would gather them up and return them to the nest but she never came back.

I was torn. Sometimes you need to let nature take its course. But seriously, raising three baby squirrels? How fun is that? I poled the kids and it was unanimous, we were the proud surrogate family for Free-Fall, Screech and Plummet.

Thank God for the internet. Hubby Roger printed this manual and Thomas hunkered down and read it during dinner. He’s an expert now.

Raising infant tree squirrels

They had a pretty good set up. Heat, a cozy bed and all the Gator-Aide they could drink. Where the heck do they get that in the wild? The plan was to keep them alive long enough to deliver them to a wildlife rehab center.

Feeding baby squirrels

 

Last Thursday, I enlisted the help of my friend, Beth, to deliver these three babies to Walden’s Puddle. This place was fantastic. They take in abandon and injured animals and rehabilitate the ones they can and use the others as educational animals.

I would like to stress that wild animals should never be kept as pets. The volunteers at Walden’s Puddle also told me that a wild animal will return for her babies even after they have been held or cared for by a human. My kids definitely learned something from the experience.  “Worst-first” thinking dictates that we would leave the baby squirrels to fend for themselves, for fear of getting bitten or contracting some horrible disease.  Instead we made our best effort to care for and try to return the squirrels to their mother.  Unfortunately, we had no luck and we are grateful for places like Walden’s Puddle.

Have you or your kids ever had an experience with wild animals, baby or otherwise?  

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Comments

  1. If it was intentional, I really like this post title (plays off 80’s music song titles FTW). If it wasn’t intentional, pretend like it was, IMO.