by Catherine Greenleaf
Mid to late-April is the time when the telephone calls start coming in about baby squirrels. Usually it's a call about an Eastern Grey Squirrel in trouble, but we do occasionally get calls about Red Squirrels and Flying Squirrels that are orphaned or injured.
This year, many of the babies that came in for treatment were the victims of cat bites and dog bites. The cat or dog's teeth puncture the skin and sometimes rupture the internal organs. In one instance, a logger cut down a tree and an entire squirrel nest came crashing to the ground, filled with babies.
The total rehabilitation time for baby squirrels is 14 weeks. They need time to learn to scamper, climb, jump from branch to branch, and hunt for food. They progress from being hand-fed a special formula for several weeks, to being weaned, to learning to eat food on their own, to being placed in outdoor cages to learn the "way of the squirrel" before being released in a safe area.