Animal Stories - Pet Squirrels


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victoria - 2009-11-02
Hi all you Flyer Lovers! I'm a wildlife rehabber on the east coast and have been for 13 years. It was interesting reading your comments on this website. As a matter of opinion I'd like to say that while I am an advocate of releasing back to the wild any animals that we can help, I also advocate captivity in certain circumstances. My only trouble after all these years, is the failure of some folks to get educated on keeping wild animals and their lack of commentment to keeping that animal for the duration of its life. Even though most wild animals can be somewhat humanized, they will still stay wild to a certain degree. It takes many centuries to fully tame a species. However I have found that my little flyers do so well in captivity that its plain to see why they make good pets. So I know what its like to want to keep them and also know how to set them free. As long as a person is willing to provide everything these animals need, then I feel they are much better to have as pets in the U.S.A. than some exotic species from other countries that doesn't have any business being here. They make great pets and all animals were wild at some point as one of you have said.

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  • joann - 2010-02-20
    I totally agree, with you Victoria, I personally think if the animal can be released and survive, that it should be...after all the wild is what they know, and I feel they should be free...I watch them in my back yard every night and enjoy them very much...just watching them be free...

    joann
  • liesa - 2010-03-25
    How do you apply to be a wildlife rehibilator, I live in the country and have room. I would love to do something like this?
  • Christi Maude - 2010-10-29
    We found a flying squirrel in woods 10 days ago and have kept him in a large cage and fed him properly, played with him morning and evening. He is very sweet. However, I feel very guilty and feel maybe we have done him a disservice. How can I release him properly? Do I just release him right where we found him or what? We live in Md. and I found out it is illegal to keep him here.
  • Ashley - 2010-11-01
    Is keeping one legal in Onslow county North Carolina?
  • Shelley - 2011-01-08
    Hi Victoria! I am also in Eastern NC and would love to know if you guys ever get flying squirrels in that can't be released to the wild? I would love to offer some a home if needed. I am an avid animal lover and have hand-raised several parrots and would love to offer help to these special little guys/gals. :) Please, contact me if this is a possibility.
  • April - 2011-06-22
    Since you say you are a rehabber, I was wondering if you'd be interested in having a baby flying squirrel. He's around 4 months old. I believe I have 2 females and one male. One of the females is 8 inches and the other is the 4 month old sibling of the male. I really need to get rid of the male or I'm going to have more squirrels than I can handle. I just can't bring myself to release them. They are the best little things. I am in Tennessee. Please let me know....or if you have any suggestions. Thanks.
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c. Dupre - 2012-05-06
I have had a flying squirrel living in our bedroom for six months. Every night he hangs on the smoke detector and goes into the ceiling fan. We have had glue traps, snap traps, regular traps out and cannot catch it. What else can we do, We had several more, but they are gone. Just one left. I cannot seem to get it. Any suggestions? Do not like sharing the bedroom with it.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-05-06
    Purchase a bird net at the pet store - a large one. When the squireel is just hanging out throw a balled up newspaper close to it. The squireel will move and you should be able to catch it easily with a bird net. Try practicing with a tennis ball or the balled up newspaper first.
  • C Dupre - 2012-06-03
    What exactly do you do with the net?
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-03
    You have seen a fisherman pull in a fish and scoop it up into a net. Correct? There are very large nets for catching birds (even butterflies). So the squirrel is on the bookcase - just someplace. You can try and place the net over the squirrel and then just twist the handle and the squirrel is in the net so take it outside and let it loose. Put some sunflower seeds on the dresser and when it goes to eat, place the net over the squireel and turn the handle and take it outside. I guess you are not having fun. You can also call Animal Control and probably they will come out and assist. They have nets etc and probably have done this many times. They are usually pretty good about coming out and helping in a situation like this.
  • C Dupre - 2012-06-03
    This critter is so fast, he is a blur when he is flying, we have him trapped in the bedroom, but cannot lure him out during the day, I woke up a couple of days ago and he was on the floor two feet away, but the minute you make a movement he is gone in a flash, and you cannot even see where he goes. We bought the net and will give it a whirl. Thank you, I have had two pest control guys and the wildlife assoc. in, they just set traps, which we have already done, he will not be lured by the bait in the traps. He seems to be getting braver because he is trapped in the bedroom. Wish me luck....
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-03
    Traps don't work for them - they are too smart and yes, they are fast. You can always make friends with it. Feed it in the same place - some place that you can easily reach with the net. The squireel has to be hungry (and thirsty) and will hopefully learn to go to eat in a safe place. Let him eat in peace a few times so he is a little more relaxed and used to being still while eating. You'll have a better chance of netting the fella. If you leave the food out - you need him used to the food being out - Wait until you are comfortable and sure you can net him.
  • cherdupre - 2012-06-25
    Well, we are seven months into our two flying squirrels hanging onto the smoke detector. They will not eat any food, I have had an exterminator sleeping at our house while we were on vacation, they did not see them, I guess they did not come out for them, new people? The conditions have to be right, I guess, I have run out of options. Do not know what to do. My exterminator and her father said that these squirrels are not native to SC, that someone must have had them as pets. Does that mean they are comfortable enough with people, one is solid grey and the other has a striped face, could they be these pocket pets that people have been telling me about. I am desperate......
  • Merc - 2012-07-03
    Sounds more like a bat. First, remove the smoke detector, then plug the hole in the ceiling fan with aluminum foil crumpled up. Then, clean your room. You obviously have too many hiding places in there if you can't find a rodent in your bedroom. What has he been eating for 7 months, he must have another way out? Find it, plug it with foil and either trap him outside or inside with no place to hide. Then hit him with a tennis racquet and send the bat to the county to test for rabies. They can bite you while you sleep and you won't even feel it.
  • cherdupre - 2012-07-11
    These are definitely not bats, they are flying squirrels, look like squirrels but have those webbed legs and a long bushy tail. They will not go near the traps, bait, etc,they are very fast, taking pics of them just show up a blur, these critters are nocturnal and very smart, I have had exterminators stay at my house at night, they cannot see them, if there is movement or light, they do not come out. When I awake at night, that is when I see them, on the smoke detector, and now there is a new baby, we have searched and searched. I have removed everything from the bedroom, blocked heating and ac vents, etc, do not know what else to do, they will not touch any food I leave out.
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-07-12
    Somehow, these fellas have to be going in and out of the home.  They can't have healthy babies and not be eating.  There has to be a food and water source.  You are going to have to figure out how they are getting in and out and block the entrance. 
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Jesscia - 2012-09-14
HELP!!! We rescued a baby squirrel about a month ago. All was going well until today. He is making a wierd noise and peeing on herself. Her entire body keeps going rigid. Is she just going to die?

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Karen - 2012-09-08
Thank you for a great website..I have enjoyed reading everyones stories.My dad found a baby squirrel that fell out of a 30 foot tree. I ended up taking him home with me. I'm not sure how old he was but from what I got read on the internet he must have been 4 or 5 weeks old.Now it's September. I have had more fun with 'SURVIVOR' thats the name my 7yr. old named him. I have kept him in till he was old enough to go out. The first time he lft and didnt come back for a night. I was so worried. He came back stayed and left again a few days later. He has done this all summer. One time I didnt see him for two weeks and I was scared because I saw a squirral down the raod got hit by a car..But he is still alive and I love this little thing. But Now I'm worried because He is acting different. Not as 'SQUIRRLY' . He is eating and drinking for me. His eyes are a little glossy. I think he is a little skinny..I'm keeping him in for a few days to watch him..Any ideas would be great.. I am going to get my license to be a rehabber because I just love these little guys.. Thanks ,Karen

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-09-08
    A fella is just going to do what he is going to do and your little guy is probably just getting into some arguements over gals.  Their life ex[ectancy in captivity will run as high as 12 - 13 years but in the wild it is about 4 - 5.  You can try giveing him some pedilyte water (buy it at th grocery store in the baby department) for hydration.  If you can give him a box (almost like a nesting box) that he can use as a safe place to sleep.  Box filled with leaves, sawdust etc  close to where you feed him but maybe just safe.  Try giving him some mashed food so he an eat it faster and eat more - including nuts, sweet potatoe - little meat.  Hopefully he will be Ok to fight for another gal again.
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stella74 - 2012-06-19
I have raised Rudy for about 4 months now. She has been outside in her cage and squirrel box / nest. For quite a while now. We have been getting very brave & she had her 3 big all day left loose time today. But she didn't return tonight. I sure am hoping she is ok. I hope she figured out how to make a nest somewhere in a tree. I know there is no telling what is going on, without a crystal ball. :( This is always the hardest part of release for me. Maybe she will be back tomorrow. ????

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-20
    Just fine I am sure.  He/she is reaching sexual maturity and found a friend.  I'd keep putting food in the cage (as needed) just in case.  Don't be surprised if they return with babies to meet you.  I think she/he will come back once inawhile to check on you.
  • stella74 - 2012-06-21
    Thank you for the feed back. She still hasn't returned so I'm sure she found friends & exciting squirrel adventures. I guess I just worry too much. I did my job & saved a little life. :)
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-21
    My grandma had a pet squirrel she raised and let it go in and outside the kitchen window.  It dissapeared for awhile and then brough her babies back with her and right into the kitchen.  Never know.
  • Anonymous - 2012-07-21
    Hi, my update on my squirrels. Miss Rudy hasn't returned I'm believing she is ok, making babies. I decided to not release Miss Twitch, she seems very content in my home & good and chubby. Many toys & a wide range of food for her menu. She is a grape freek & even frozen grapes when it is 90 + degrees. Love to watch her play! Thanks for all the help.
  • Mandee - 2012-08-08
    I have a female grey squirrel. I have hand raised her from a small baby she didn't even have furr yet and eyes were closed. She lived inside our 2nd bathroom for about 5 months before being placed in a huge 8ft cage in our kitchen. I would let her out everyday to play yet she started chewing on everything and when in her cage she often made a huge mess all over the kitchen floor, so I placed her outside in our wash room. She is so loveable to me yet she will not let anyone else near her. Just about every day I would take her out the cage & bring her in the house where she could only roam in the kitchen & bathroom. One day when I went to get her out the cage I seen she was watching two other squirrel playing on the big oak tree next to my house, so feeling bad for her I wanted to see if she would climb the tree at 1st she wouldn't even jump off me so I placed her on the tree tried walking away but she only jumped back on me. So I placed her back in her cage then the next day done the same thing it took many times before she actually started playing with me while climbing the tree. Many days she would just play where I could see her or she could see me. Yet when it was time to go in she wouldn't mine being placed back into her cage. Well about a month ago I found the cage open & Skip gone. I'm thinking on of the kids in the neighborhood may have been trying to play with her & didn't close the cage. Which they shouldn't have been!! Unsure how long she was out, I started looking every where for her afraid may my cat may have caught her or something. After a few minutes of searching I spotted a squirrel next door in the neighbors pine tree, I walked over there and she ran down to met only to be scared back up the tree by the neighbors dog. She would come down after that and stayed out all night. The next morning she was in the oak tree nexts to my house & gladly ran down to jump on my shoulder. After a few days of being locked up in the cage cause we went on vacation I took her out and she jumped in the oak tree going the highest I had even seen. As night time came she never came down for 5 days she was gone, then one after noon when I was leaving the house about to get in my car, she ran up my pants leg and up upon my shoulder, which scared the mess out of me at 1st....lol...she was all loveable and wanting attention bad & food. After being gone for 5 days I couldnt being myself to place her back into the cage, cause it just seem mean so I just let her run lose in the wash room with the door open so she could go as she pleased. She stayed in the wash room for about 4 days sleeping on some hangers that was hanging on a pole with a few old clothes. The other morning when I went to wash a load of clothes she jumped on me and wouldnt get off so I walked inside the house doing chores as she just chilled on my shoulder, often jump on top of my head playing with my ponytail. I went outside to switch the clothes over and she still didn't want to get off so she stayed on me chilling for about an hour, I walked out the front door and the neighbor dog stared barking which spooked her, she then ran on the brick of the house and back up the tree. This time she only stayed gone for 2 days, this morning I found her trying to get into the house by the back door. Do ya'll think it's safe to keep letting her go & come as she pleases??? She knows how to crack nuts but is use to eating already cracked nuts, fruit & vegetables!
  • stella74 - 2012-08-16
    Hi, With the squirrels I have released each one has taken different lengths of time to take off on their own. With my latest I set up a cage outside that she stayed in over night . I would slowly leave her loose longer & longer during the day. She would eventuality discover new trees to explore. It is always very nerve racking for me but when they do leave to start their little journey I feel like I have done some good in the world. I with that my 'Twitch' had taken off for her sake, but she seems to enjoy herself in my home. She is very fat & eats better than I do. :) Once that they have left they may still show up from time to time so you can leave food & water out for her just in case. As I release my guys I give them nuts outside as we play & they instinctively figure out to bury them. It is fun to watch them progress. How old is your squirrel by the way? Well I hope this helps, good wishes!
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Kyle - 2012-06-17
We have raised about 4 or 5 infant squirrels with much luck. We have two that decided they wanted to stick around, 1 female now about 2 years old, and 1 male about 1-1/2 years old now. They stay in separate cages, female doesn't appear to want the male too close. Chatters and runs away and hides until I intervene and pick her up. The male is very healthy and active, in and out of cage. He actually likes to go out for a day or two, comes to the front door and jumps up to the window when he wants back in. Unfortunately, the female has become very inactive:( She won't come out of the cage even when male is gone outside. She has lost weight but still eats. Feed her unshelled pecans, apples, shelled sunflower seeds, grapes, etc... Her appearance is good; her coat is soft and silky, she looks up when we approach the cage. Her eyes, mouth and all look good. She won't crawl around much, unless we physically bring her out of the cage. She hops more like a small bunny than moving like a normal squirrel. Doesn't care for the outdoors. We try and get her sunlight but she finds shade instead. I'm worried about her. Any clues to what I can do to get her back to being active again? Thanks in advance.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-17
    There is a broad range for life expectancy on the red squirrel. Some say 2 - 3 years but they can live as long as 8 years but unusual.  Your little gal might just be older - I'd make sure she is warm enough - you know age and the bones/joints.  Place a heating pad wrapped in a towel oj low under 1/2 her enclosure so she can get warmer as needed.  They get aches and pains too but if eating, appearance good - let's go on - gee just don't want to rock and roll right now.  Maybe later.
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Monika - 2006-02-12
You guys are the best! Like you tell me about everything I need to know about having a squirrel. Because I just got one and no other website could tell me what you did I didnt know that squirrels can swim or more interesting...

And you guys tell use about even more then just how to take care of youre pet... you tell us all about them! And not just house animals... 1000 different animals. really you guys are a miracle.

Everybody VISIT THIS WEBSITE. IT IS THE BEST AND IT TELLS YOU EVERY THING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ANIMALS! If you dont like animals well then they will show you how to like them. And you will like them... actually you will like them so much you will buy one and guess what, they tell you how to take care of the animal. as I said before... they are a MIRACLE. The best ever!

Thank-you, you were a really great help!

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  • mary - 2010-12-20
    Having a squirrel is sooooooo much fun I wish could have a million more :)!
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Valentina - 2009-03-14
Hi, we found a three baby squirrels on the ground, all were dead but one. We took her home and feed it baby milk (dog). She's real small her ears are not even opened yet, but her eyes are. I don't know how to care for her but with all the advice here I'll manage. But she didn't go to the restroom so I took a warm cloth and wiped her so she could pee and poop, but don't know if that's right. I just don't want her to die and I feel sad cuz that happened to her and her brothers so I want her to make it. So if there is any more info please keep me posted. Thanks for what info I read, glad you are here to help me!

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Victoria Webb - 2012-06-09
I have a baby squirrl and for 2 months. he has his special place in a hanging pot on the back porch that is screened in. He is adorable and I take him out side and put him in the grass and he hops back to the porch. I been trying to get him to climb a tree and he keeps crawling to the bottom. I want him to learn to be free. When I first got him he climbed all over the screens, now he just seems afraid. My husband said it may be because he fell 2 times. What can I do to help him?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-09
    He will learn but right now, he doesn't know.  Let him be in the pot if that is where he chooses to stay.  He might have fallen from the screen and is now afraid.  You can leave the screen door open a few inches (if that is safe) and move the pot to the door.  Eventually your little guy will become curious and venture out on his own.  Then he might go in and out for awhile and then adjust to being outside - especially if he finds himself another squirrell.  You can keep taking him out but put a few sunflower seeds on the ground and let him just sorta sit there for a bit eating the seeds.
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Anonymous - 2012-06-07
Is it illegal to own a pet squirrel in Connecticut?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-06-07
    It is not legal to have a pet squirrel in Connecticut, howver, I would call Fish and game in Connecticut and find out what it is you have to do to get a license to own a pet squirel.  I am pretty sure they will be able to steer you in the right direction.
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