Ok, I got one for you. I was advised to go and treat myself today after a rough interview. Here's what happened when I did that:
Pulling out of my driveway today to get food, I saw something that caused me to look harder. As I approached, I realized what it was. I was bothered that it didn’t run away. I got out of my car, walked up to it and still it didn’t run away. That’s when I realized, this is a baby squirrel and it looks like it’s hurt.
So, after standing there for a moment or two, my mind racing trying to figure out what I could do to help, I ran inside, got my gardening gloves on, (knowing full well they were pointless in protection), grabbed a handful of peanuts and went back out.
The little baby still didn’t try to run away. I tossed a peanut at it. It sniffed for a moment, tried to eat it but it was a little too big. I picked out another peanut, this time one that was broken in half and tossed that to the baby squirrel. Baby picked it up and slowly started to eat. Huzzah! That’s a good sign!
As it ate, I noticed it was very wobbly, couldn’t really control its balance at all times and looked like it had been injured somehow. I figured maybe it fell out of a tree or got in a fight or something...but it was sitting on the black top of the driveway, looking like it was about to lose the battle.
Well. We just can’t sit back and let that happen!
I threw more peanuts at it, poked its back, (no reaction), and then scooped it up and put it in a box I had gone back inside to retrieve. I then put the baby squirrel, now in the box, in my car.
Where the hell do I go?
I went and got some food while I thought about it, asked people if they knew about any wildlife rehab center, (no one did), got the squirrel some fruit to wash down the peanuts and then decided to head on over to the local police station. What the hell else do I do?
Got there, talked to a fireman and he gave me a number to call. Called that number, connected to state police who took my information, (and seriously, why the hell do they need to know my date of birth when I’m reporting a baby squirrel? Really?), who then said he would give my info to a game warden.
Game Warden. PERFECT!
About 10 minutes later, the Game Warden called me and discussed this little squirrel with me. His concern was absolute proof that the mother was dead. I informed him that just last week, on the road right outside my driveway, someone had hit and killed an adult squirrel. I can’t prove that was the mother but this sure was an amazing coincidence.
I agree with them that we should let the wild stay in the wild and that even though it can be a rough life, the quality of life is better in the wild for wild animals. I also agree that in rehab, the animals can get stressed and often times don’t make it. And he understood where I was coming from that this little baby was pretty darn vulnerable at this point.
So, what he wants me to do is later tonight, around 9ish, take it back to the part of the driveway I found it in, gently place it back, and wait and see, (meaning I go back in the house), if the mother comes to get it. The tricky part is, this vulnerable thing will have to worry about owls, dogs, cats, any other predators as it sits there, unprotected, injured, a baby, while waiting to see if mama comes back.
It’s not going to be an easy night.
IF baby squirrel is still there tomorrow, I call the Game Warden back, he will come out and pick up the baby and they will try to rehabilitate it before setting it back out in the wild.
We shall see what happens. Nature can be so beautiful and so vicious and unforgiving at the same time.
Of course, there’s a part of me that daydreams about having a pet squirrel. I KNOW, I said it was a daydream, ok?
Wanna see him?
Isn’t he/she CUTE?!!!!!! Dawwwwwwwwwwww.
I know I couldn’t keep it. First of all, it’s just as dangerous IN the house for this baby squirrel, (dogs and cats), as it is outside. Hardly any of my doors in this house close and the ones that do, Casper, the cat, has figured out how to open them. (Lovely.) So, where would I keep this baby? I don’t have a cage, I don’t have any place to keep it protected from the predators that live inside my house.
Also...rabies thing. Also, not sure I’m allowed to have a wild animal as a pet in “city” limits.
Also...if this one can get strong and just survive and live outside, that would be better. I just hate to see a baby animal not get a chance, ya know? I’ll keep you updated.
Finally, I noticed this when I was taking photos of him...if you look at his little right arm/paw in the second photo, you can see some blood. Not sure if it's a bite or an abrasion or what it is, but yes, I was right, he somehow got injured. I'm so afraid to let him out alone for the night but I have to trust the Game Warden on this. Sigh. Be strong little baby squirrel!