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  • Writer's pictureCrone

The littlest one

Walking along a track at the Reserve, I saw a bundle of grey tottering ahead of me.


A baby squirrel!


He (I found out the sex when he rolled over) looked drunk, falling backwards, his legs collapsing. I realised he was too small to be on the ground like this. And, around me, no shouting squirrels, just silence in the trees.


My understanding is that one should leave baby animals for the parent to find them. But before I left or intervened I called a wildlife rescue centre. They told me that the evidence suggested this tiny baby had been either thrown out of the dray or dropped by a predator. He could not survive on his own.


By this stage, I had fallen in love and the baby was trying to suckle.

The woman on the phone said that centres can only take squirrels if they have a license. If you take one to a vet, they will just euthanise the animals. I think this is because they are classed as invasives. Though, ironically, it is also illegal to kill a squirrel. She went on that it sounded as though the squirrel was still reliant on milk and was both hungry and dehydrated. However, she was not allowed to tell me how to care for a baby squirrel, except to say that it is easy to get one to inhale milk and then develop an infection which requires anti-biotics, yet a vet will just put the squirrel down.


I called another centre but couldn't get through. Then I called Clare. She contacted a vet who takes animals for a local centre who do have a squirrel license. So, I took Nutkin there.


I carried him to the car wrapped in a towel and he fell into a deep sleep. So deep I thought he was dead, When I woke him to take him in, he screamed and tried to hide.


The vets said they would give him milk and as far as I knew, he would be collected by Animals in Need who would house him with three other baby squirrels, assuming they got on. Animals in Need have a 'no kill' policy and will care for any animal - invasive or no.


When I got home, I saw that my squirrel is lactating. Shame she couldn't have adopted him. Here she is behind the leaves, eating bird food.

Then, a few days later, a devastating blow...


Hi Issy 


I’m so sorry I had not heard from the vets so I contacted them to see if he needed collecting.

Sadly they had put him to sleep because he had neurological problems.

Thank you for the generous donation I will make sure it’s used to buy food for the other wildlife in our care.


Best wishes 

Annie   


I am so upset. I thought he couldn't hold his head up as he was so small. Or dehydrated. But I suppose the mother abandoned him because he was unfit. I understand, I understand... but I am brokenhearted.

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3 Comments


maplekey4
Sep 29, 2023

I was wondering about the baby squirrel, Nutkin. Sad to see him tottering in the video. Sad how the story ended. You did what you could xx

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maplekey4
Sep 29, 2023
Replying to

I'm glad you named him and wrote about him.


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