Rescue of baby squirrels

by Andy on March 16, 2011

Word came through from W.R.A.P – Wildlife Rescue and Protection – could we take care of 5 baby squirrels? As we are both ‘softies’ when it comes to animals we said yes.

We have taken care of lots of different animals before but a bundle of baby squirrels was going to be a new adventure! Still, we thought… how hard could it be…….mmmm?

The small box arrived and my first impression was a small bundle of tiny, heads and tails all cuddled up together. We were given, the special baby milk and syringes, and that was it! These tiny 5 squirrels were all ours – to keep alive!
The first feed came as the squeaking got louder, we gently took them out of the box, 1,2,3,4,5,……6….yep 6! Their eyes were hardly open, they were so vulnerable, so with sleeves rolled up their adopted Mum and Dad took position carefully measured milk/syringes at the ready….they were hungry and took more milk than they should, we settled them down in a warm cage with special cuddle warmers and old soft clothes….they were settled…….for all of….1 1/2 hrs – oh boy this was going to be hard work, but we loved it!
Andy nicknamed them Spanners, because when they are asleep all together they looked like a bag of spanners and there is no collective name for squirrels anyway. (There is now J)

I called them Milkies!

We managed to get them to sleep through till about 6am, before the whole ‘rigmarole’ went round again. The more they grew, the more ‘wigglier’ they became, they were up sleeves, on heads, then we’d count and they’d be 3 so we all played games of hide and seek! It certainly was a task for 2. We noticed the runt of the litter was getting weaker and because they all looked the same we used to mark his tail with red marker, to be aware of him. Unfortunately he lost his fight…we were gutted! But the remaining 5 needed us, and the bigger they grew, the smaller the cage….so in came a rather large cage on wheels into our small conservatory. They loved it! By this time they were still having milky, but not so much, Andy had put in small branches and fruit bits with water to get them more used to the wild….when the day came they had to leave us. We were careful to give them minimum contact so they wouldn’t get too used to us, even though they were cuddly!!
With ‘Milkies’ still growing, we were still taking in other rescue wildlife, so our lives were hectic….it was great!
The day came when they were transferred to the aviary in the garden…they’d soon be on their way! Andy made an opening in the top of the aviary and one by one they climbed into the trees at the back of our garden and away to their future? Well…..sort of… 3 ‘spanners’ still come back for the nuts in the garden! One is still happy to hand feed. I’m sure they know us!
How rewarding to see that tiny mass of heads and tails grow to adult squirrels…..| wish them well – wherever they are!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura May 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Aw! Great article. Keep up the good work…

sheila May 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Thank you for your kind comments. Some of the ‘milkies’ still come down for their food – lovely to see them big and strong…..I often wonder if they remember their early days……..I certainly won’t forget them!!

Sonya July 3, 2011 at 11:01 am

BRILLIANT story…..encore! Came down to see you yesterday with a couple more (well 3 in the end!) baby birds (one with no feathers at all – maybe a day old?) and saw one of the ‘milkies’ appear on the aviary. Andy went down and fed it, I’m so glad we got a chance to watch it.

Thanks for all your help, hard work and endless patience -we couldn’t do it without you both!

PS I could have sworn there were only 5 ‘spanners’ in that box when we brought them to you! (Oops)

Daniel Greason September 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

“Love conquers all.” ~ Virgil

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