What Do You Do With a Wild Squirrel?
If you have a squirrel in your yard and aren’t sure what to do, these tips may help. First, feed and groom it. Second, release it in a quiet place away from other animals. Finally, know the warning signs. Listed below are some things to avoid when dealing with a wild squirrel. You should contact a professional squirrel handler if you have any doubts. If you can’t feed and groom the squirrel, you can call a wildlife handler.
Table of Contents
Feeding a wild squirrel
While feeding a wild squirrel, it is important to remember that it takes time to build trust. You must be patient and avoid disturbing the squirrel while it is eating. You may see squirrels eating from your hand at a park, but in other locations, you may need to approach them cautiously. Never feed squirrels bread or raw peanuts, which are not healthy for them. If possible, avoid feeding squirrels corn and bread. To learn how to properly feed a squirrel, watch a video about how they eat.
Remember to avoid giving your squirrel fruit juice, dried fruit, and seeds. Fresh, unroasted nuts are best for squirrels. You can also offer your squirrel roasted pumpkin seeds and almonds. If you want to give your squirrel something else to chew on, you can give it sticks or stones, but try to limit its intake of these items. Adding natural objects to its diet is also important. Remember to always provide fresh water.
Grooming a wild squirrel
Most squirrels spend quite a bit of time grooming themselves, including the head, forepaws, hind legs, and tail. This grooming starts when they are around one month old. It can take months before a squirrel will allow you to groom it, but once they get used to you, they will usually reciprocate by pecking your hand and rubbing your back or ears. Grooming a wild squirrel can be a rewarding experience!
One way to make squirrels behave more like humans is to offer them food. When you feed them, they may literally bite your hand. Once the food has gone, they will likely return to their normal behavior. If a squirrel is frightened, do not approach them or handle them unless you are absolutely certain they are safe. And do not let your hand smell bad! These animals have extremely sharp claws and teeth. So you’ll want to make sure you do everything possible to avoid any injuries to yourself and your home.
Releasing a wild squirrel
There are a few simple steps to releasing a wild squirrel. Before releasing the squirrel, it must first be used to its new cage. A large, breathable cage is best, and one that is half-inch apart is best. The squirrel needs room to move around, and should have a box to live in, where it can hide from predators. It will need access to fresh air and water and you can provide this in a release box.
You should also ensure that the squirrel is fed and hydrated prior to release. If possible, you should allow the squirrel to enter its release site of its own accord. Then, you should let it out when it is ready. The most common mistake is releasing the squirrel too far away from its natural habitat, and the poor creature will die from the stress. Often, if the squirrel is released too far away from the wild, it will return to your home emaciated and with missing parts.
Warning signs of a wild squirrel
A wild squirrel may come into contact with humans when you are away from your property. These critters are sloppy eaters and will often spill food out of their mouths. This is due to their mouth shape and position. The incisors, located at the lower end of their mouth, do most of the chewing and leave a gap between them and the molars which allows for spilling of food. Squirrels will usually clean up the mess they make. This is why they like to gnaw on blocks and sticks.
If your pet dog bites a squirrel, there are many signs you can look for. One of these is an abscess. This infection is caused by the Staphylococcus sp. bacteria, and it is hard to notice. A bite wound will heal quickly, but an abscess will be hard to spot. Early symptoms may include pain while moving or a lack of appetite. You can also observe red patches on the squirrel’s skin.
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.