On Saturday, March 1st, Oakland Animal Services received the first orphaned baby squirrels that the Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue (YUWR) Shelter in Oakland has seen this season. For the last three years, YUWR has seen the first babies on March 3rd…so they came two days early this year. YUWR fosters and then releases hundreds of baby squirrels every year. They need squirrel foster parents – so please go to www.yuwr.org for more information!
If you find a baby squirrel that is pink/hairless on the ground, place it in a box with blankets and bring it to the Shelter or contact YUWR. If the baby squirrel has fur, leave the baby squirrel by the base of the tree for the mother to come pick it up. If found in the afternoon, leave out until just before dusk, but bring it indoors for the night. Do not attempt to feed any baby squirrel.
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Lila Travis says
FOUND A BABY SQUIRREL????
If you have found a baby squirrel and the mother is not around, trying to retrieve it, you should place the baby in a deep box with a t-shirt or fleece cloth for it to snuggle into, (terry cloth towels can catch their toes) and place the box on a heating pad set to LOW only. This will keep the baby warm. Place the box and heatingpad in a quiet location, safe from pets and human traffic.
Once the baby is secure, you can bring the animal to us directly (call the Oakland/Berkeley Wildlife Center at 510-421-9897) or take the baby to Montclair Veterinary Hospital (510-339-8600) where he/she will get a free health exam and get into foster care with our wildlife volunteers right away, OR call your local animal control department or animal shelter.
Note- Baby Squirrels are usually born in litters of 1-3, sometimes 4. If this baby is truly orphaned, it is very likely you will find more babies over the next 24-48 hours, as they each fall from their nest while looking for mom and food. I suggest checking outside before you drive your baby squirrel to the vet or to us, so you only make one trip. If you do not find any, keep your ears open for their high pitched cries.
CAN’T I RAISE MY BABY SQUIRREL?
Baby squirrels require a lot of care (regular feedings every 2-4 hours, sometimes round the clock, Special food not buyable in pet stores, 12ft cages, etc) and must be raised in groups if they are going to be able to survive in the wild. If the babies are not raised with proper nutrition, socialization, and care, they will not be releaseable back into the wild. We have been doing this for over a decade and have successfullly raised and released nearly 2,000 squirrels.
If you would like to be directly involved in the care of the baby you have found, we are happy to train you as a new foster care volunteer. Just give us a call and make an appointment for our squirrel training class!
CAN I KEEP IT FOR A PET?
Baby squirrels are very cute but when they grow up they do not make good pets. They require a huge amount of space – 1 or even 2 room-sized cages are required for unreleaseable adults. They have razor-sharp claws which they use to climb everything (including faces) and they LOVE to eat electrical cords, which has been known to cause housefires. They can bite down to the bone very easily. Plus in California they are illegal to keep as pets and you would be risking a hefty fine + the squirrel would be euthanized if you are caught.
If you fall in love with squirrels, please give us a call. We are always looking for people to foster our squirrel orphans and help us care for the adult squirrels in our care.
Thanks for your time reading this and
THANK YOU for caring about wildlife!!
Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue