Monday, April 25, 2011

Baby Squirrel Update (Random Pointless Photos)

There's been a surprising development in baby-squirrel news: my sister now has four baby squirrels.

Last time we saw Patrick, he was a little closed-eyed baby. Now his eyes are open and he's starting to look like a proper squirrel!

(Click on images to enlarge)

Yes, he has to be kept in a cage now because he's so lively and active. He's still mainly being hand-fed a liquid diet:


…but he's able to eat Cheerios on his own:


My sister volunteers at a local wild-animal rehabilitation center. Its owner became ill a few weeks ago, so while he recuperated she took in the two baby squirrels he'd been fostering. One of them is Dave, who's about Patrick's size and shares his cage (and his Cheerios). That's another baby squirrel to feed.


(At least I think that's Dave. I can't tell Dave and Patrick apart.)

Along with Dave came little Willow, who is a runt. Willow is just slightly younger than Dave, and his eyes are open, but he's a tiny little thing.



Then an employee at a local veterinarian's office came to work one day with an abandoned baby squirrel that needed caring for. The vet found out that my sister knew how to foster-parent baby squirrels, so he called her, asking her to take it. What's one more, when you've already got three? And so Alexis came to stay. She now shares Willow's nest. Alexis is bigger than Willow but younger — her eyes are still closed.



The older squirrels have to be fed only twice a day (if I'm remembering correctly), but the smaller ones eat four times a day. It takes a lot of time and patience to hand-feed baby squirrels. Just recently a neighbor who had successfully raised some orphans gave my sister a recipe for what we call "magic squirrel juice" — I don't know the exact recipe, but it involves half-and-half, an egg yolk, banana baby food and peanut butter. The squirrels love it, and we're hoping it will put some meat on Willow's bones.


Janice said...

These guys are just so cute! Will they be able to released to the wild when big enough?

Ainsworthiana said...

That's the plan. My sister intends to let Patrick out in her own backyard (it's pretty big with lots of mature trees), and probably Alexis too. At present she's hoping the fellow who runs that wild-animal center will be able to take Dave and Willow back soon, so it will be up to him where they get released.