What Should I Do If I Find A Baby Squirrel?
What Should I Do If I Find A BabySquirrel? There are a few options available to you. First, you must be careful not to disturb the baby. This is an animal that doesn’t know how to survive on its own. Bringing a baby squirrel home should be your last option. This is because young wild animals are vulnerable. It may take several hours for the female to retrieve the young and even longer for her to build a new nest. If you cannot capture the young squirrel, wildlife rehabilitators may recommend placing the young in an open box near the nest.
Keep a baby squirrel away from humans
One of the easiest ways to keep a baby squirrel from harm is by placing it in a small cardboard box or carrier. It may be difficult to keep a squirrel warm, so a hot water bottle or a small cardboard box can be used. It is important not to cover the squirrel’s body with anything, such as a t-shirt or fleece. These fabrics can become thread-like and entrap the baby’s nails. Alternatively, you can place the baby squirrel in a heated pad. Place the heating pad on low and leave it on for about 45 minutes.
The main reason to avoid handling a baby squirrel is because it is too young to be afraid of humans and pets. They need to know they shouldn’t play with humans or pet dogs until they’re ready to learn how to fear humans and pets. While it may be tempting to touch the baby squirrel, keep in mind that squirrels are wild animals that must remain free of human contact to survive. If you accidentally touch or feed the baby squirrel, you could endanger it or even kill it.
Avoid feeding a baby squirrel
Before you attempt to feed a baby squirrel, you should check for any signs of illness or injury. You can use a soft washcloth to clean the baby’s face, nose, and nostrils. Use a Q-tip to stimulate the genital area of the baby, simulating the action of a mother’s tongue grooming a newborn. You should continue this procedure for several minutes. If the baby squirrel is not urinating, it is probably dehydrated and needs to be given electrolyte rehydration formula. If your efforts do not yield results, visit a veterinarian for treatment.
A baby squirrel may enter a nursing trance, in which it will stare wide-eyed and continue to gulp drops of formula from a syringe. If you notice this happening, you should immediately stop feeding the baby squirrel and wash its face. Once this has occurred, you should allow the squirrel to breathe normally and wait for the fluid to drain from the nose. It may be difficult to awaken the baby, but the first few minutes can help avoid the occurrence of any ill health.
Avoid bringing a baby squirrel to a wildlife rehabilitator
While it is illegal to keep a native squirrel as a pet in North Carolina, it is acceptable to bring it to a wildlife rehabilitator in an emergency situation. In such cases, the animal will receive appropriate care until it can survive on its own. However, do not bring food, including baby food, to the rehabber. The animal should be left alone while being cared for by the rehabber.
Remember that young animals, like squirrels, are at a lower risk of survival in human hands, since they lack the skills to survive on their own. It may take hours for the mother to retrieve her young, and it may also need time to build a new nest to raise the young. Wildlife rehabilitators may suggest leaving the young squirrel in a box near the nest.
Keep a baby squirrel safe in high traffic areas
If you have a baby squirrel in your home, there are a few important precautions to take. One of the most important is keeping it in a cage when not in your presence. Squirrels can chew through plastic pet carriers and cardboard boxes. The squirrels can also be susceptible to sarcoptic mange. This disease is caused by mites, and is more common in those that do not receive a proper diet. If you find your baby squirrel in such a situation, it will most likely get into trouble with people and other animals.
One way to keep a baby squirrel safe is by removing it from high-traffic areas. If the baby squirrel is left alone for too long, it may develop a fear of humans. You may notice it crawling up the legs of people. These babies have probably been left alone for some time and will approach your leg. If you do encounter these baby squirrels, it’s best to remove them from high-traffic areas until they’re fully grown.
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.