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How to Help an Orphaned or Injured Squirrel

 

  • Most baby squirrels have black toenails, even when hairless. Flying squirrels, however, have white toenails.  Rats and mice have white toenails as well.

 

  • Make sure the squirrel really needs help. Look for Mom – she may be relocating the babies or may be coming to rescue a baby that fell out of the nest. But she won’t approach if you are close.  If the baby is warm and uninjured, and you see Mom, try putting the baby where it is safe from falling and back away so Mom can safely retrieve it.

 

Eyes-closed squirrels

  • Babies need to be kept warm. Fill a sock with rice, beans or birdseed, and heat in the microwave until warm. Allow the baby squirrel to snuggle up against the warm sock. If you have made an attempt to find the mother and she has not returned in several hours, wrap it gently and loosely in a soft cloth, put it in a paper bag or box with holes, and call us.

 

  • Do not provide the squirrel with food or water. We know you want to help, but you are more likely to hurt the squirrel than help it if you attempt to feed it.

Eyes-open squirrels

  • Younger eyes-open squirrels still need to be kept warm. Fill a sock with rice, beans or birdseed, and heat in the microwave until warm. Allow the baby squirrel to snuggle up against the warm sock. If you have made an attempt to find the mother and she has not returned in several hours, wrap it gently and loosely in a soft cloth, put it in a paper bag or box with holes, and call us.

 

  • Do not provide the squirrel with food or water. We know you want to help, but you are more likely to hurt the squirrel than help it if you attempt to feed it.

Adult squirrels

 

  • Adults are fully furred with luxuriant tails (though the tail may be damaged or missing if sick or injured).

 

  • Injuries are usually fairly obvious – bleeding and/or broken limbs.

 

  • Do not attempt to catch an adult squirrel yourself. They have strong sharp teeth and can cause you significant injury. Call us and try to keep track of its location until we can get there.

 

  • Always make a record of the date, time and location you found the squirrel.