The One That Got Away!
By Cindy Griff
12 Sep 2012
This is a story of the newborn squirrel that got away...
My husband was standing on our porch when he heard some teenage girls screaming across the street.
A small group of teens were gathered around some tiny little creature the size of a baby mouse, but this was not a mouse.
This poor helpless little creature was sitting on the newly paved blacktop, roadside laying alone in the hot sun. So these teens decided to carefully load it onto their skateboard and they brought it over to our side of the street and placed it in the shade beside our front fence.
My husband went over to take a look to see if it was still alive and well? Just then a Mother squirrel came running closer to it, now we knew for certain it was a freshly newborn squirrel, so young in fact it's eyes were still closed and it had no fur yet. For a helpless and blind newborn it sure had a lot of energy to travel that far away from it's home.
I ran inside the house as most Photographers would, to grab my camera and then I slowly approached the newborn squirrel with caution.The Mother squirrel was not very happy that I was trying to capture it's baby with my camera. I backed off when Mom was close, then I moved a little closer when she went briefly out of sight.Only to have her surprise me from above on the fence railing and then she made another defensive stance, so I backed off once more. Next, the Mother tried to place the newborn down a small space between the fence and a cement border to keep it safe out of view. When Mom disappeared briefly, the newborn struggled to climb out of this little hole and headed strait toward me on the grass. Mother squirrel came back to the newborn's rescue, this time she grabbed the newborn gently with her mouth and carried it back to the hole to hide it once more, but the newborn managed to wiggle and climb out a second time.
Finally Mom had enough worry for one day, so she grabbed her newborn as gently as she could yet with a strong grip to then carry her newborn off down the road to home and safety once more just as the sunset for the day. Hopefully this little eager squirrel will not be running away from home again any time soon. Something tells me this busy Mother squirrel is going to have her hands full for a while yet. I was very pleased to see that these young teenagers tried to do the right thing to try and save this newborn squirrel from getting overheated from the hot afternoon sun, die from thirst or hunger, or worse run over by a car.
Whether they dwell high in a tree or in an underground burrow, female squirrels typically give birth to two to eight offspring. Babies are blind and totally dependent on their mothers for two or three months. Mothers may have several litters in a year, so most squirrel populations are robust.
Ground squirrels eat nuts, leaves, roots, seeds, and other plants. They also catch and eat small animals, such as insects and caterpillars. These small mammals must always be wary of predators because they are tasty morsels with few natural defenses, save flight.Sometimes groups of ground squirrels work together to warn each other of approaching danger with a whistling call.
Tree squirrels are commonly seen everywhere from woodlands to city parks. Though they are terrific climbers, these squirrels do come to the ground in search of fare such as nuts, acorns, berries, and flowers. They also eat bark, eggs, or baby birds. Tree sap is a delicacy to some species.