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Old 10-02-2013, 10:28 AM
 
624 posts, read 899,672 times
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This season my local wildlife rehab center was so inundated with baby squirrels that they advertised on TV for willing foster homes. I have nurtured a total of 8 in response to the ad and it's been a great...if time-consuming...experience.

Have you ever fostered baby squirrels? How was your experience? If you're curious about it, check with your local rehab and find out when babies are born in your area. Rehabs usually provide everything you need for free. Try it once...it's very rewarding and a good experience for children!
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Dallas
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I would LOVE to do this, but have four dogs that would go crazy. My son's den mother had fostered baby squirrels and it was so cute seeing them scampering around the house when they got older.

Did the rehab center have any idea why there are so many baby squirrels without mothers?
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:07 PM
 
624 posts, read 899,672 times
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I'm lucky in that my two small dogs love other animals and are gentle hosts. One ailing baby squirrel even snuggled up with one of my dogs for warmth and she accepted it gladly. I also have 2 parrots, who enjoy watching "squirrel TV" as I put the older squirrels in 30 gallon aquariums so they have room to climb and wrestle.

The needy baby squirrel population was high this year supposedly due to a long stretch of heavy rain and flooding that destroyed nests and drove many mothers to abandon their young. Another problem seemed to be "looters", nestless female and male squirrels who threw unattended babies out of their homes. Desire to take refuge from the extended bad weather caused more adult squirrels to do this than usual.

Most babies were dropped off without a "story", but I had one little male who was seen by an office worker being thrown out of a nest adjacent to a fourth-story window by an adult male. The office worker ran outside to try and save the babies, but only the one little guy survived the fall. He had blood in his mouth and neuro deficits, but when someone is willing to foster, such babies are given a day or so before a decision to euthanize is made (unless it is absolutely certain the baby is doomed). Little Butters (goofy name, I know) struggled for a few days but is now a plump, active 3 month old almost ready for release.

Again, it's been very rewarding. If you have a room you could keep the dogs out of, I say give it a go sometime.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
31,378 posts, read 18,581,229 times
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One of my sisters has been fostering baby squirrels and raccoons for over 20 years. I've helped with a few. Somewhere in this forum is a thread about it, with some pics.

It is indeed quite a bit of work, especially if she has five or six squirrels of various ages and a couple or three raccoons. Both animals are lively, intelligent and curious. Minding them brings lots of intangible rewards.
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:30 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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That sounds like fun. Good for your for helping out.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:22 PM
 
624 posts, read 899,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroutDude View Post
One of my sisters has been fostering baby squirrels and raccoons for over 20 years. I've helped with a few. Somewhere in this forum is a thread about it, with some pics.

It is indeed quite a bit of work, especially if she has five or six squirrels of various ages and a couple or three raccoons. Both animals are lively, intelligent and curious. Minding them brings lots of intangible rewards.
I wish I'd known about fostering sooner. It's true, having babies of different ages and formula requirements can be a chore, but seeing them all grow and "graduate" to release is a true feel-good experience. The toughest part is not over-handling them, especially if they need TLC for illnesses. You get attached to the ones that struggle and especially if you're the only "mother" they've ever seen, they seek your interaction. I had one squirrel that virtually lived in my bra for two weeks while she was battling pneumonia and diarrhea, both very common in rescued babies. She's been kept separate from other squirrels all along due to her health, and when she graduates this week it will be tough to let her go. Most babies get wilder as they become more independent, but the ones that start out sick stay friendly until shortly after release.

There's nothing cuter than a baby squirrel nursing from a syringe while looking up at you with those huge, dark eyes. Except perhaps watching them tear around the living room together during a break from their rehab-issued box!
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
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Pictures, please?
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:29 AM
 
Location: FL
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How kind of you! I've 'fostered' a baby sparrow, drove my cats insane but we were able to return it to the wild but never a squirrel. That had to be quite an experience!
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
31,378 posts, read 18,581,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggie2101 View Post
Pictures, please?
I've found a few. First, a couple of young squirrel pics.

Below is a very young customer.



This fellow is a little older and starting to resemble the finished product (so to speak).



Young raccoons love to wrestle and play. I taught them not to bite too hard by flicking their nose with a finger whenever they got too rough.



My Other Half shows how they also like to cuddle when tired of playing.



Raccons prefer their food damp - they scoop it into the water and then fish it out with those very adept paws of theirs. Below, my dog waits for the raccoon to focus elsewhere...just for a moment...so he might steal some.



I'll wrap up by showing just how cute the little rascals are when young. (They get feisty as adults though, especially the males.)

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Old 10-08-2013, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles>Little Rock>Houston>Little Rock
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Aw, so cute!
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