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Join the conversation: American Red Squirrel
Pet Information: American Red Squirrel
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"Last August (about 5 months ago) I found a baby red squirrel on the ground in the grass next to it's (sadly) smushed sibling. They were so tiny, at first I thought there was a frog or toad on the ground and when I looked closer I saw what I thought was a baby chipmunk because it was slightly brownish with two black stripes. At this time, the baby was about 1 week old with closed eyes and ears. Later when he started to get a fuzzy tail, we realized he was a squirrel. In the meantime, we kept him warm at first by cutting the toe off of a "fuzzy sock" like slipper-socks and put it around a small tupperware bowl. He stayed curled up inside of it all day long. Before long, we got a small heating pad to keep him warm as well. We bought puppy milk and fed him with an eye dropper every 3 hours, yes that means waking up in the middle of the night. At first he only ate about 2 ML, but that increased quickly and sometimes he would even eat 3-4 eye droppers. We always fed him until he wouldn't accept any more. By the 4th week his eyes opened and shortly thereafter his ears opened. At this time we started to leave sunflower seeds in his cage just in case he got curious. He began to teeter on his back legs, trying to stand up and eat. This was probably the cutest part of all, when they are learning to stand up. We still continued milk feedings, and as he started to eat more solid foods we spaced the milk feedings out more and more until at about 12 weeks he was completely off the milk. He now eats a variety of nuts including walnuts and shaved almonds (his favorites), pine seeds, sunflower seeds, in-the-shell-unsalted-peanuts, outdoor squirrel feed (which has the likes of dried corn, in-shell-sunflower seeds, etc). He loves banana chips, apple, peapods, cherries (real, not maraschino), dried fruits, and pretty much any fruits. He will not eat mushrooms or celery, though. He lives in a big bird cage which we regularly fill with branches from pine trees (and in the summer he gets leafy-trees too). He makes a mess throwing pine needles out of his cage, but he loves it, it makes it more wilderness-y or him. We keep him in an un-carpeted area so we can sweep up his messes :) He also gets to run free in the house for a while every day. He is very nice, will jump right on you while you are walking by. However, his nails are sharp so it is probably not a good idea to let kids play with them. They also try to eat your drywall and can tear up your curtains, so you have to keep a constant eye on them while they are loose. We bought a bunch of edible wooden logs/tikihouses/etc the pet stores sell for rabbits and hamsters or other small animals. He chews on those, which is very important to keep his teeth trimmed. A red squirrel is a lot of work from babyhood to adulthood, but also such a joy. We will not be "acclimating him to the wild" He is our pet, he loves people and we feel it would be cruel to take him from his home and shove him out into a cold, harsh world. After all, they live only an average of 3 years in the wild due to all the dangers of other animals and cars, and can live up to 10 yrs in captivity. If anyone ever needs any tips on how to care for a baby squirrel, feel free to email me at"

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