How Far Should I Relocate a Squirrel?
The first question you may have is how far should you move your new friend? There are laws regarding releasing animals on public land. Many people suggest relocating them to an area with plenty of trees and water sources. However, many argue that relocating a squirrel to a suburban area will only worsen the situation. Relocation of an animal to a suburban area will most likely cause problems, and it may even be illegal.
Leaving a baby squirrel without its mother is inhumane
Although it may be tempting to trap a baby squirrel and move it to a new home, this method is not a humane way to deal with the problem. Squirrels are notorious for abandoning their babies when moved from their territory. Even if you do relocate a baby squirrel, it will most likely be abandoned and not survive in the new environment. Additionally, it is inhumane to relocate a wild animal more than 1 km from its original location. The Toronto Wildlife Centre receives hundreds of calls a year about baby squirrels.
After finding the squirrel, take it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. If you find a baby squirrel on the ground, be sure to check for siblings and put them back in the tree. If you find one baby squirrel that falls, you should put it back in the tree for its mother to find it. You can also use pots and baskets to keep the nest in the tree.
If you are unable to release the baby squirrel, you can keep it in a warm room with a warm temperature. Make sure you use soft clothing to pick up the baby. Avoid using towels or cardboard boxes, as they may catch the baby’s nails. Soft clothing can be used as a temporary heat source. Be sure to keep an eye on the body temperature of the baby squirrel to ensure it is comfortable and is not suffering from dehydration.
Bringing a squirrel 25 miles away from your home is illegal
Many people may be surprised to learn that bringing a squirrel into their homes is illegal in most states. While it may seem like a good idea, relocating a squirrel isn’t as simple as putting a trap in a tree. Squirrels are intelligent animals with feelings and emotions. If they’re trapped, they’ll likely track back to their original location and suffer great distress.
In order to ensure the safety of the animal, it’s important to bring it at least five or ten miles from its capture site. A squirrel can travel a considerable distance and should be kept in a cage that is secure. The person handling the cage must also have the right training and experience to properly handle the animal. Bringing a squirrel twenty-five miles away from your home is not only illegal, but also cruel.
Using humane traps causes more suffering to the squirrel
Oftentimes, people use “humane” traps to catch a squirrel, thinking they are doing a good deed for the squirrel. But these traps end up causing more suffering to the squirrel than other methods. And even if the trap does catch a squirrel, it will likely have to relocate elsewhere, where it is likely to become a target of other animals or be killed. In fact, a 2004 study of gray squirrels found that 97% of them died.
Despite the fact that box-trapping gray squirrels is effective, animal rights activists have pointed out that such a trap causes more pain and suffering to the squirrel. In addition to causing more pain and suffering to the squirrel, box-trapping may lead to an even more dangerous situation – the squirrel might not enter the trap in time, resulting in a fire. Another method of capturing a squirrel is to place a Conibear trap on the entrance to its den, and it will catch the animal.
Despite the widespread use of humane traps to kill squirrels, the practice of killing squirrels with live poisons is a poor practice. Squirrels will defend their territory by attacking and chasing newcomers. Many freed squirrels die from stress, starvation, and painful injuries. Furthermore, squirrels released too far away often return to their original habitat with emaciated bodies and missing body parts.
How far away should I relocate a squirrel?
Answer: At least 10 miles away from where it was found.
What is the best way to relocate a squirrel?
Answer: In a box or cage with food water and bedding.
How long does it take for a squirrel to adjust to a new location?
Answer: It can take up to two weeks.
What should I do if I find an injured squirrel?
Answer: Take it to a wildlife rehabilitator.
What should I do if I find an orphaned squirrel?
Answer: Find a wildlife rehabilitator that can take care of it.
What kind of food do squirrels eat?
Answer: Nuts seeds fruits and fungi.
What is the lifespan of a squirrel?
Answer: Up to 20 years in captivity; up to 10 years in the wild.
What are the predators of squirrels?
Answer: Birds of prey snakes and some mammals.
What time of year do baby squirrels born?
Answer: Spring and early summer.
How many sets of babies do squirrels have?
Answer: 1-8 per year with an average of 3.
How many babies are in a set?
Answer: 1-8 but usually 2-5.
What is the gestation period for squirrels?
Answer: 38-45 days.
How long are baby squirrels dependent on their mother?
Answer: 8-10 weeks.
What kind of nest do squirrels build?
Answer: A nest made of leaves twigs and other materials usually built in the crotch of a tree.
Do squirrels hibernate?
Answer: Some do but not all.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.