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Baby red squirrel being held in hand

Helping Squirrels in need

Guide for animal lovers: tips for saving baby squirrels 

4/3/2023

Squirrels have young from January to September, and the babies will usually stay with their parents for up to four months. To find food for their offspring, squirrel parents have to travel long distances, which often lead through urban areas and busy roads. This is a great danger for both the parents and young squirrels: if the squirrel parents are run over or injured, the babies are left alone - and they need help to survive.

Squirrels in need 'ask' for help

Unlike many other wild animals, squirrels seek proximity to humans in emergency situations. They run after walkers, sometimes they even cling to them. This is neither aggressive behavior nor a sign of illness. It is just a cry for help from the little squirrel. If a young animal draws attention to itself in this way, here are some tips to help.

What to do?

  • Wrap the young squirrel in a sweater to give it warmth and security and take it home.
  • Put the squirrel in a box. Close it with a lid, which you must provide with air holes beforehand, so the squirrel cannot escape but gets enough fresh air.
  • When you get home, you should fill a hot water bottle or plastic bottle with warm (not too hot) water and put it in a box. Along with a blanket, you can build a small nest for the squirrel in which it feels safe.
  • Pay attention to the right amount of warmth: the optimal temperature for squirrels is between 96 and 100 degrees.
  • The box can then be placed in a draft-free location.

Please contact the nearest wild animal center

The best thing to do is to bring the little one in experienced and competent hands immediately. If this is not possible so quickly, feed it with a little fennel tea (slightly sweetened with honey) to avoid dehydration of the animal. The squirrel can lick the liquid from your clean hands. Then you should go back to the site and look for other siblings. If the parents died, other babies may also be in danger.

important

Do not attempt to rear the little one up yourself, but contact the nearest animal welfare center or wildlife station as soon as possible! Squirrel babies always grow up with two to four siblings, and only in this way can they learn to behave in a manner appropriate to their species, which will allow them to be released back into the wild again someday.

Raccoon at TIERART in Germany, Maßweiler

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