August 27, 2010

We have a problem...

that is what I heard my husband proclaim when he walked in the house, cradling a baby squirrel last night.

Neal was outside washing our cars when he heard a commotion across the street.  He looked up to find a black crow going after this little baby.  She had several red peck marks on her body, and her tail tip was raw and bald from where the crow was trying to carry her off.

I found a shoebox, lined it with the chickens' pine shavings (fresh and unused!), and Neal set the baby in the box.  She immediately burrowed down in the shavings and hid her head.  Her little eyes weren't even open.  Poor thing must have been terrified.


I searched on the Internet for what to do and found advice suggesting we take the squirrel back to where it was found and hope that the mom would come back for it.  Neal covered her with a rag to keep her warm, then set the box beside the tree.  Then he went back to washing cars and periodically checking on the little orphan.

Not knowing what we would do if the momma didn't return, I continued my Internet search.  I left a couple of messages and sent an email, then I lucked out and got to speak to a local wildlife rehabilitator.  She told me the momma was probably up in the nest for the night and wouldn't come down.  She said it sounded like the baby might have injuries from the pecking that needed medical attention.  She gave me the name of a local vet who would treat the squirrel for free, then would arrange for a rehabber to pick her up.

After waiting about an hour with no sign of a momma squirrel and decreasing sunlight on the horizon, we decided to send her on to the vet hospital.  Below is the nest from where we think the baby fell, or from where the crow swiped her.  It's hard to get a good perspective in this picture, but that nest is WAY up there.

I just got off of the phone with the kind lady who has our little squirrel.  She is not out of the woods yet, but is drinking a little and urinating, which is always a good sign with babies.  The rehabber estimates the squirrel to be 5 weeks old. The eyes usually open at 6 weeks.  If she survives and recuperates as anticipated, we will pick her up in a couple of months and release her back to our neighborhood, where she will have the opportunity to reunite with her family and friends....if that's what squirrels do!


11 comments:

Susie said...

You are such a good person. Your mom and dad would be so proud. I know that I am.

Lilla said...

Thanks, Suz! Love you!

Razzberry Corner said...

Aww, the baby is so cute! It now stands a chance to live. When I was very, very young my parents hand raised a baby squirrel who fell out of his nest and released it in the backyard when it was bigger. It lived wild like a normal squirrel, but always was very tame. His name was Bobby. Bobby always ate from my hand and played in the backyard with me. Maybe your squirrel will be friendly when he's released.

~Lynn

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I hope the baby makes it. My hubby rescued two baby squirrels whose nest was in a tree which was cut down. We kept them in a cage in the house until they were grown and then set them free in the woods.

morningbrayfarm said...

Oh, Lilla! That baby has a hard road ahead of her, but how amazing and good of you and Neal to take care of her like that. Hugs!

Lilla said...

Lynn, I am hoping the squirrel won't be too tame or dependent on us. We already have momma squirrel who is very demanding about her snacks!

SVB, good for you and your husband to rescue and care for those two babies! I'v bottle-fed and raised orphan kittens, but had no idea what to do for a squirrel. Thank goodness we have wildlife rehabbers who know what they are doing!

Justina, yes she does have a long road ahead. I feel confident that the rehabber who has her will do everything she can to pull her through. And, if that doesn't happen, at least I know we all tried like heck to save that little life! Hugs to you.

jasperlilith said...

aw, poor baby squirrel - so glad that neil found her!
we had a squirrel when i was in elementary school - the little thing fell out of a tree right at my feet and i was a goner from that moment... didn't know to leave them for the mom to find the next morning so she went home with us and kept us entertained for the next several years :)
hope your little squirrel pulls through!

Kritter Keeper said...

ah, that is wonderful you cared enough to help this tiny creature! so glad the baby is eating and drinking. great post!

Duly Inspired said...

Bless that little baby! He's lucky you two saved him. As to my seagrass rug, it was custom ordered (because of the curve in my staircase) at Marc Anthony rugs, here in Houston. They have a website, of same name. Also? I love your green garage!!!

AJ-OAKS said...

Big hugs to you and Neil for rescuing the baby. May the baby grow strongeer with each passing day and live a long life near you.

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Awwww. Such a sweet person - that little squirrel is so lucky that Neal just so happened to be outside to rescue him! And that you knew how to care for him until you could get him to a vet. I hope he's doing ok now?