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Abandoned Squirrel

What should I do if I find an orphaned or abandoned squirrel?

What Should I Do if I Find an Orphaned or Abandoned Squirrel?
The most common wildlife in the US are known to be squirrels. Their tenacity and persistence mean that they can thrive in both urban, rural, and course wilderness environments. They tend to be all over the place causing plenty of occasions where humans encounter orphaned or abandoned baby squirrels on the ground, weeks past breeding season. The most probable cause for this is fallen nests, or the baby has become too active for its well-being. Because squirrels are wildlife, these babies can’t be taken in as pets (depends on state law). Plus, their wild nature makes domestication difficult, so foundlings or trapped squirrels need to be returned to the wild.

What should I do if I find an orphaned or abandoned squirrel?
Make sure to check if the squirrel you found is still a baby, as the first thing you should do. Squirrels become sexually mature within their first year and might still look tiny. If the squirrels’ body looks longer than six inches, you should let it be unless injured. If the squirrel is hurt, and you’re caring enough, the next step is to take the juvenile squirrel to the vet for care. If a vet is not available, then check for any wildlife rehabbers in the area.

If the squirrel looks like a baby, the first thing that needs to be done is to return the baby to its mother. It’s a popular assumption that when a human’s scent rubs off on a baby squirrel, the mother will reject the baby. Mother squirrels will often reject the baby squirrel if it’s no longer the right temperature (probably sick or dying) and not because of scent. So, pick up the baby gently and inspect for injuries and temperature. If the baby is neither injured nor cold, then it should be returned immediately to its mother.

After, you need to make a nest for the baby like a small box and place it in there. Place some pieces of fabric to soften the insides and keep the baby warm. The box should be top open so the mother can see the baby immediately and take the baby back. Locate the closest tree where the baby was found and attach the box there or place it on the ground. Keep pets and other animals away and wait to see if the mother comes back for the baby. The baby squirrel will instinctively call for its mother and if the mother is near, there’s a good chance for pick-up within several hours. If the baby is still there, the squirrel’s mother could be injured or dead, and the baby’s life will be left in your hands.

Of course not everyone would have the time to care for orphaned wildlife. The next step is to take the squirrel to the local vet who will check if the creature is fine and might take the responsibility to rehab or euthanize, if it’s injured. If the squirrel is fine, the vet might take the responsibility to contact animal shelters, fish and wildlife centers, humane societies, the local wildlife rehabilitator, or the vet will be the one to refer you to them.

If no one is available, the responsibility of caring for the baby squirrel may be up to you until a rehabber can be found with the help of Thanks to squirrel enthusiasts, there are plenty of sources on the web on how to care for squirrels, and because such situations are rather normal. Also, be sure to know the current state laws when it comes to caring for wildlife. Some states consider it illegal to possess or even care for wildlife.