The second squirrel season of the year is here! Often we have well intentioned rescuers who bring in or call about what seems to be an orphaned squirrel they have come across. Sometimes these young squirrels are indeed orphans, but fortunately that isn’t usually the case! During this this time of year, its important to be aware of how to safely handle a baby squirrel that seems to be abandoned.
Young squirrels have the greatest chance at survival with their mothers. If you see a baby squirrel alone and can’t find mom, do not assume that it has been abandoned. The best thing to do is to try and reunite baby and mother unless the squirrel is injured and in need of immediate help. Mama squirrel might be gone looking for food or carrying another one of her young to a different nest. The best way to help a young squirrel who is alone is to leave it in a warm, dark, and quiet shelter. You can use a padded box, a heating pad, or a warm bottle. Leave the baby squirrel under a tree until night time. If mother squirrel has not retrieved her baby, bring the squirrel inside and try again the next day. Make sure to leave the area so that mom has a chance to reunite with its young.
Most importantly, do not feed baby squirrels food or water. Although you are attempting to help the young squirrel, feeding could potentially lead to death as improper feeding is very dangerous and can lead to aspiration. Mama squirrels have motherly instincts and return to their young when they hear them cry for food. For a comprehensive guide to reuniting baby squirrels, please call us or visit our I Found a Squirrel page and always remember, reunite over rescue!