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Baby red squirrel being held in hand

Squirrel in need

24.2.2020

Guide for animal lovers: tips for saving squirrel babies

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 the offspring, squirrel parents often have to incur long distances, which often lead over busy roads or urban areas. 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 behaviour 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, you should never ignore it.

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. 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 36 and 38 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 liquid can lick the squirrel from your (previously well disinfected) hands. Then you should go back to the site and look for other siblings. If the parents died, they 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 cubs always grow up with two to four con-specifics, only in this way can they learn to behave in a manner appropriate to their species and can lead a life in freedom again at some point.