Animal Stories - Eastern Gray Squirrel


Animal-World Information about: Eastern Gray Squirrel

   The Gray Squirrel is perhaps the most familiar of all squirrels!
Latest Animal Stories
Dollene Davidson - 2011-07-15
I need help fast...by baby, Munson, who is about 7-8 years old, suddenly became ill. I found him in his cage, which I keep in my room, stiff on the bottom. I immediately got him out and began giving him Pediolite. He drinks it thru a baby bottle. I have been doing this every two hours, along with various fruit juices and a mixture of nuts, mixed in a blender. He seems to be tender in his body, but lets me scratch him and responds to me. I have read all of the comments, and am going to give him some milk in a minute. I love this little guy. My cat brought him to me years ago, with no fur and his eyes were not open. I will do anything to save him. I live on Amelia Island, FL, just north of Jacksonville, FL. Please, someone help me. I simply don't know what happened as we were playing just Thursday. I took photos of him and he was happy. He gets plenty of fresh veggies and nuts in the shell, fresh figs from my fig tree. He wasn't hurt while we were playing. My heart is breaking. Thank you, Dollene Davidson Amelia Island, Fl

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2011-07-15
    Is there a vet nearby who will look at squirrels or other exotic pets? If there is, they may have emergency services over the weekend (although expensive). My best advice would be to get him to a vet as soon as possible - he doesn't sound well at all. It sounds like what you are feeding him is adequate, and the fact that he is eating at all is a semi-good sign. Depending on where his body is tender, and if he will tolerate it, try putting either a heat pack (not too hot that it will burn or raise his core body temperature) or an ice pack on it. This may at least help to make him more comfortable for the time being.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-16
    I am so sorry. I know you love this little thing and just how attached you must be. I doubt there is anything you can do except be there - and I know you are. The Pedialyte will help and do keep him warm. Place a heating pad, wrapped in a towel, on low under 1/2 his enclosure or just hold him. I know you must be upset, but you were kind and wonderful enough to give him all he needed and wanted for many years. You could try mashing up sunflower seed or even try banana and feed him with your finger. Animals are funny things --- they act healthy, healthy, healthy until they can't be. They can't show weakness in the wild so they don't show weakness to us humans. I am sorry. She has just gotten older and the life span for an eastern grey is 3 - 6 years - less for a male. She had a wonderful life and a loving human. She is tired.
  • Anonymous - 2012-04-12
    Science Diet dog food!!!!!!!! If you can get him hydrated then start feeding him Science Diet Dog food, even if you have to crush it up and mix with WATER, no pediolite!!!
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Rachel Stewart - 2012-03-26
Me and my husband just got a young squirrel named Tarzan. My husband rescued him from a tree when he was approx. 5-7 weeks old. He's probably around 10 weeks (maybe a little less) now and he nibbles on our fingers a lot. We're worried he will keep doing this until he's older and it will actually hurt or he might accidently hurt someone. Is there anyway to keep them from doing this???

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-03-26
    Squireells, guinea pigs, bunnies, mice all nibble on fingers. Possibly salt, possibly to become familar - I don't really know. However, most small little critters do it. It does not mean they are going to bite. I sure don't know of a way to stop it though.
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kat - 2012-02-19
We rescued a baby squirrel about two months ago. I have raised 3 squirrels and with this one he was so sweet and lovable, I would take him out and play with him for at least 6-8 hours out of the day and then about two weeks ago he had really bad seizures for about two days. I feed him fruits, vegetables, formula, nuts, primate biscuts, also science diet small dog food and he has a femur bone which he loves to chew on so I know he is getting the calcium that he needs which is what I have read why they have seizures, but he hasn't had any more seizures. But since the seizures he chatters his teeth and bites all the time, you can't even pick him up now. He can't be released because he can't take care of himself. He can't climb or sit on branches without falling off and he can't hold food without falling over. I have to chop everything up for him. He has a little stuffed squirrel that he plays with and acts normal now accept for he is bitting. Is there anything I can do

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-02-19
    There really isn't anything you can do to prevent the biting. I would suggest a rehabilitaion facility, though. You have some solid experience in raising squireels but at a rehab facility, they have a bunch and medicines and know what to look for. At this stage, he can't be released and yet, he can't be a pet. You don't know if he is ill or if there is some genetic defect. Possibly a rehab can determine that or he could at least be with others like himself.
  • James Peter - 2012-03-02
    btw, teeth chattering is a sign of fear/anxiety/stress in squirrels. Does he ever make a sad sounding cry or a growl? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Asnqdb00ADs I really hate this jackass who made this video and purposely terrorizes the poor guy before release but you'll notice the teeth chattering along with growling. It sounds to me like you've got a full blown wild squirrel. It's rare to hear this from someone that raised it from a baby :(
  • James Peter - 2012-03-02
    Also, have you ruled out 'spring fever'? I think this can occur twice a year since eastern greys have two breeding periods. But I have read that some people experience the same kind of stuff you're talking about during these times.
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lisa - 2011-03-13
How to stop a pet squirrel from biting?

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  • Rocky Campbell - 2011-09-16
    Our squirrel plays ruff with me, but my wife he just lays there and lets her massage him. I always have a nut for him to run around with him in his mouth. I get a sock and he hangs on it while I gently pull him in a circle. Go to his webpage and watch some of the videos.
  • Jennifer - 2011-09-20
    We just rescued a baby squirrel from a cat. The mom left and she never came back. She did not even bark for it or anything. We waited around to see if mom returned. I was wondering if you could give me any advice on what to do. I am pretty sure its a girl. I dont know what to feed her and should I take her to the vet to be looked at?
  • linda hines - 2011-09-22
    I have had great success with puppys milk. You can buy it at any pet store. It works great. Penny is now 7-8 weeks old and is almost weaned. Good luck.
  • linda hines - 2011-09-22
    Jennifer:
    You can also search orphaned wildlife care, baby squirrel care. It gives tons of info on the eastern gray and the red squirrel. It has timelines (what and how much to feed). I didn't know that you had to stimulate the squirrel so that it could relieve itself (something the mother would naturally do). It helped me out alot.
  • shannon - 2011-10-23
    I have raised six baby squirrels and have found the best formula to be 1 part human baby formula to 2 parts heavy whipping cream. Nothing else you buy will have enough of a fat content. They need the fat they have a very high metabolism.
  • Eagle - 2011-11-12
    I have had pet squirrels for i guess 20 years, they bite instinctively, its what they do. mine don't bite hard they just nibble to see what they like, tame ones are nibblers but there going to bit a little.
  • James Peter - 2011-12-16
    If your squirrel bites hard breaks skin and causes bleeding then he needs to be released. This kind of behavior is very hard to undo and is a reliable indicator that you got a wild squirrel. If you don't raise it from a baby or before it weens at least, you can forget about it
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levi - 2011-12-07
can you teach squirrels not to bite cuz i have one he fell out of a tree and he is an awsome pet but like to pick on my girlfriend

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  • James Peter - 2011-12-16
    Squirrels are individuals, so giving you a definite answer just wouldnt work. How old was this squirrel when you got him? Wild squirrels that are received past the weening stage when they leave the nest and begin their independent life are VERY difficult to tame, basically the older they are, the harder it will be. Its pretty straight foward. Even if you raised it from a pinky, you could still get an somewhat aggressive squirrel toward other people. Alot of squirrels are 1 people pets, if he attacks your girlfriend, he'll probably keep at it. If I were you, I would have her feed him treats several times a day, over time he should start warming up to her, but he'll probably mess with her on occasion indefinitely
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Meghen - 2011-12-01
i have a pet squirrel. her name is Chow. We sometimes call her Chowder because she eats alot. My grandma's friend found her down her in Florida in a tree they cut down and the mom or dad was not around anywhere so they brought 2 baby squirrels to my grandma. She took care of both of them but a few years later one of them died but we still have Chow she is 4. We got chow because my grandma died in Janurary last year. My grandpa came up from Florida with her and gave her to us. That is my story of my pet squirrel

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  • Lauren - 2011-12-01
    aww that is such a sweet story
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-12-01
    I am sorry about your grandma but so glad that Chow has a wonderful home.
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Lynn - 2011-09-06
I have a pet squirrell I rescued from a cat a year ago. He is one of the funniest pets I have had and I love him. He would have died if I had not saved him, he is very well cared for and loves me. I know because he hardly gets off me when he has time out of his big house. If I turned him loose he would not survive as he was a baby when rescued. I would not recommend every one to have one for a pet. But I have about 20 years in animal husbandry. What I would like to figure out is how to introduce new people to him that he doesn't act aggressive towards. Any suggestions??

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  • Rocky Campbell - 2011-09-16
    Thats great :)
  • sadhana chauhan - 2011-11-17
    I had a baby squirrel which is only 2 weeks old. Pls give me any suggestion so that he/she feel better. he/she was with me 5 day over. I keep it out side but mother not came and took it. Give me any solution so that I save her
  • James Peter - 2011-11-29
    My squirrel doesn't like when a small crowd of people surround us but has absolutely no problem with people in general and I let people / kids in public pet him. I should say, he lets them. :) I have noticed however that many other squirrel handlers have issues with their squirrels being aggressive toward other people, even people that share the same household with them. I have also noticed a trend that females appear to do this much more than males. I think it has something to do with nest/baby defending in the wild and might 'I'm just guessing here' be impossible to undo entirely.

    As you almost certainly know, watch for the signs like tail flicking and teeth chattering when he/she is around other people. Whenever Zosi gets nervous 'he's terrified of dogs' I comfort him by massaging his mouth which is his favorite thing. Search 'Zosi Nap time' on youtube to see what I am talking about. I dont know if just Zosi likes this or if all squirrels do but its essential in reassuring/calming mine. You are his tree basically and whenever he's nervous/startled, he'll run to you instinctively like a tree and squirrels defend their trees. which is why they can get very aggressive to people or animals that approach you. It's more that he's defending you than being afraid of them I think... a territorial thing basically.

    One thing I always tell people is to never grab Zosi, I don't think there is a single squirrel on the planet that likes this, if Zosi is showing any signs of discomfort, I remove him for the situation. Like when people surround us to see him, he'll try to hide by going into my shirt at the back of my neck.
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Anonymous - 2011-07-24
Rocky is our pet squirrel, he will be a year old in August. People found him after he fell out of a tree, he had a bloody nose. My raised him before his eyes were open. Sometimes I feel guilty that he was not released in the wild, but then again I think he is well taken care of. He loves us and we love him. He would not live 5 minutes in the wild. For anyone that does not like this, well they can kiss my butt. I love this squirrel more than anything and he makes me happy, I love all animals. Rocky is on facebook Rockynuts76@hotmail.com if you have negative comments do not come there.

Robin Campbell

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-25
    Animals when hand fed like that get very attached to their humans. He is loved and cared for and you are his family. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with caring for a little creature. Not all things are meant to live in the wild. Humans adjusted quite well over the hundreds of years. Without people like you to take this little fella in - there would be less little fellas, less known and hat off to you.
  • anita - 2011-08-01
    I have a little boy also and I love him so very much.
    He was given to me by one of my cats ,as a gift.
    He was new born with his cord still attached.
    I have had people say things to me that hurt my feelings.
    like I am a demon for not releasing him when he was old enough
    to be on his own. Sorry people he imprinted and I did too!
    I LOVE MY HAMMY AND HE GETS EVERYTHING HE NEEDS AN WANTS.
    He is a part of our family of six dogs , two cats and my hubby,son and grandson.
    He is healthy and will be that way for his life until nature takes him.
    thank you for being another squirrel lover.
  • larry walker - 2011-09-07
    I have a pet squirrel (gray) named benjamin, we call him benjie, and I love this little guy. He's very affectionate and a lot of fun. I agree with you about people not understanding and yes they can kiss my butt as well. My little fellow is intelligent and playful and I hope he lives many years.
  • Anonymous - 2011-09-08
    Um... I am kind of a new squirrel owner and my little guy is about 6 weeks old. I also plan on keeping him. He is very attached to me and I agree he wouldn't last in the wild especially the city... any advice on how to keep him happy in captivity?? Also name ideas would be kool lol :)
  • Anonymous - 2011-09-14
    alright well guess not thanks anyway
  • Rocky Campbell - 2011-09-16
    If I can help anyone for with their pet squirrel, please let me know. I am by no means an expert. Check out Rockys webpage on facebook.com Rockynuts.
  • tall tails - 2011-09-29
    Hey Anonymous: I've done a lot of research and raised two very happy and loving pet squirrels. The two main things to remember to keep them healthy and happy are 1) Calcium and 2) Exercise.

    Calcium deficiency is a leading health problem in squirrels. It not only causes fragile bones, but also a neurological condition. If you see your squirrel doing repetitive motions over and over or rubbing his face against the cage until he bleeds, he probably has this condition and needs emergency calcium treatment. To keep this from happening, put a real cow bone or piece of deer antler in the cage. This is what squirrels gnaw in the wild to get their calcium. Also you can give them a cuttlebone (from the bird section of the pet shop) and feed them science diet puppy food (look for the one with the highest calcium-to-nitrate ratio. Also be careful of giving them too many foods that act as calcium blockers. Foods such as grapes and green beans can actually block the absorption of calcium and should be given sparingly. I'm told Almonds are a great source of calcium.

    Feeding your squirrel what he loves can kill him! Squirrels LOVE nuts, raw corn, and sunflower seeds, but these are like candy to squirrels, and if this is all he's eating, he will probably not get the calcium he needs and may get fat as well as nervous.

    Never give your squirrel peanuts (no matter how much he begs). Raw peanuts contain a mold that causes organ failure in squirrels. Also, when giving your squirrel seeds, nuts, and dried fruit, be sure they are unsalted and unsweetened. Squirrels LOVE unsweetened dried banana chips. You can make these yourself or get them from a health food store. Just read the package and make sure there's no added sugar.

    EXERCISE & PLAY: Squirrels are very energetic and very clever. They need plenty of things to climb on and play in and with in their cage. I put a hammock, a rope bridge, a hanging ladder, and a veritable jungle gym of sticks and tunnels in their cage for them to climb on. If you only have 1 squirrel, he is apt to become lonely, bored, and depressed if you don't play with him. If you keep him in a cage, be sure it has room for him to run and is tall so he can climb. And put some stuffed animals in there for him to wrestle with when you're not there. I got one of those long-armed hanging velcro monkeys and my babies loved it and pulled it into their nest-box every night to sleep with it. There are some really cool videos on YouTube of obstacle courses that people have built for squirrels.
  • Angie - 2011-09-30
    HI. I have a pet squirrel too! Mine crawled up my leg outside about 3 months ago...he was only about 4-5 wks old then. I'm assuming his mother was killed or something. He was starving when we found him. I fed him puppy milk from a bottle (which he still enjoys) And he eats pecans, acorns, etc. I am wondering if you could give some advice about what to feed him...like a regular diet. Ive read a lot about how poor nutrition will make them sick and eventually cripple and kill them. BUT I haven't really been able to find any sites that tell me WHAT he needs to be eating. Any help would be really appreciated. And, like you, I love mine too. His name is Scatters and he is such a sweet boy. Thanks
  • Diane - 2011-10-02
    Hi I have a baby squirrel named monkey! Actually later on I found out it was a girl. She is about 13 weeks hand fed her with goats milk then started feeding her. Well yesterday I made the hardest decision of my life I let her go I adapted her to the outside and she was soooooo happy climbing the trees and acting like a child. I'm leaving her cage outside with food and goats milk. Well I got up this morning and there she was getting nuts and putting them in the ground already made a new friend. She came over to me sat on my shoulder I kissed her she went in the cage for about a half hour and she is so happy. I knew she wanted to get out so now she has the best of both worlds..I do honestly love her and can't wait to see her tomorrow!<3
  • linda hines - 2011-10-06
    My daughter found Penny when he was about 3 days old. Something had scattered his nest and his mother was nowhere to be found (my daughter checked for days). Penny is now about 9 weeks old and recently we let him (my daughter named him) go. I visit with him in the morning and evening. I look forward to seeing him everyday. My husband made a comment 'you love him don't you?' Well, isn't it obvious! By the way, the tree that I put his nesting box in (I made it) is 1 foot from out back porch! Did ya think that I was gonna let him be any farther than that? I am a mother ya know :)
  • shannon - 2011-10-23
    I Love it! I have raised six baby squirrels in sets of 3, 2, & now I have one. (Lucy) I obtained them at different times of the year so the length of time I kept them inside was different. The first ones I had I got in early spring. So I kept them through the summer and then as fall approached I put their basket near an open window where they ventured out of just like they would had they been in their own nest. Eventually they either integrated into a nest in my yard or built their own. They still come to see me. Lucy I've only had for about 6 weeks. She's going to stay in for the winter and then when spring comes I'll give her the opportunity to leave as well. I know what it is to fall in love with these little creatures that are everywhere around us our whole lives. (We are very fortunate to get so close) But I try to keep in mind that they are wild and when they are ready to reproduce if they are not permitted to do what squirrels do they can become angry. So keep in mind that even if you do let this one go, now you know what one sounds like (their cry) and would probably recognize if you heard one in distress at another time.
  • Jenny - 2011-11-04
    Hi! I have a handsome squirrel boy by the name of Rokki! He is just now 1 year old.
    I'm looking all over to find out if it is really necessary to neuter him. I've received so many different answers and it is expensive to do so. He is beginning to act aggressive on occasions and was raised by me since before his eyes were open. He loves his cages, (day and night) and is happy to play in or outside supervised.
    Did you get your little guy neutered? Is he doing the same and what did your vet say?
    Thanks for anything you can tell me.
  • Teri - 2011-11-13
    Mine would not eat rat food so I ordered healthy blocks from www.henryspets.com and he loves them and google THE SQUIRREL BOARD for more info on what other kinds of food he needs.
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tall tails - 2011-09-29
Here's a link to building plans for a great squirrel nest-box. This can be used indoors or hung from a tree outside to give your squirrels a place to feel safe and warm while they sleep.

http://www.squirrel-rehab.org/misc/greysquirrelnestbox.html

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-29
    That is cool and well written - Thank you.
  • Linda - 2011-10-09
    I built the Squirrel Box. Thanks. Now I can sleep throughout the night without wondering if a raccoon was going to get Penny! Thanks again.
  • Linda - 2011-10-18
    Okay, I built the box, now Penny wants to live way up in the sweet gum tree. Man, that lumber was expensive. haha :)
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Kristi Booth - 2011-09-27
I have a pet squirrel about 10-11 weeks old. He climbs fine and acts normal while climbing; but, if I put him on the floor, he wobbles and holds his head to the side and spins around. Is this neurological or something else?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-27
    I don't know but I like to start with the basics. Have you ever seen a dog sorta thumping his back leg on the ground which spins him in circles backwards and his head to one side? It looks pretty silly. It is also a sign of worms. You could take a Q-tip and take a swab of fecal matter to the vet and have him check it out. I'd also clean out the ears for mites - just in case. I like to start with the easy stuff but if it isn't worms or mites - I have no idea.
  • two tails - 2011-09-29
    Sounds like he has some kind of reverse-acrophobia. Just as many humans are fearful of heights, many squirrels are afraid of the ground. It's where they are most vulnerable to predators. If your squirrel ever had a traumatic close encounter with a predator, this could be related to that, or it could be a kind of vertigo similar to what we get when we're too high. Squirrels feel safer and more secure when they're above looking down on the world. Try letting him run the backs of your sofas and let him come down gradually on his own as he builds up the nerve and overcomes his fear.
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