Photo Essay

The Story of Bobbi

Now Story Telling is not my forte, which I think is why I always liked the saying "A photograph is worth a thousand words". But I wanted to share with you the story of Bobbi the Bob-Tailed Black Squirrel.

The first time I saw Bobbi, I had no idea what he was. Was it a skunk, but the tail was the wrong colour and the markings were strange. When I realized he was squirrel, I said "goodness gracious who were your parents". We have red, grey, black and blonde squirrels and I questioned whether there may have been some fooling around between cousins.

I kept an eye out for him and over time noticed that, something was wrong. He was losing all his hair. I contacted a number of different wildlife groups wondering if squirrels got the Mange. Turns out this can happen to squirrels, caused by a type of parasite and there was nothing I could do to help him. He appeared less and less, until one day in September when I saw what looked like a baled rat that had had it's tail chopped off. As I watched and looked closer, I realized it was Bobbi, and it broke my heart, he appeared so ill and weak. Before I could get my camera he was gone.

I was sure that was it for him, without any fur and being so ill, he couldn't survive the winter. Then in late November, in the dark evening hours, I caught a few pictures of this little fellow creeping around the feeders. Bobbi was back, I couldn't believe it. He was still a bit underweight, and the hair that had grown back appeared a bit thin with only the tip of, what was left of his tail, still hairless, but he was alive. He never showed up with the other squirrels but of an evening I would catch this small shadow tentatively sneaking around the feeders.

It wasn't until February that he finally came out of the shadows, and I gave him the name Bobbi for his Bobbed-tail. What is left of his tail is now full and fuffy, his hair looks healthy and thick, he's gained weight and the shortened tail doesn't seem to bother him a bit. What pleased me the most is the last picture, as he now holds his own with his peers. He pushed a large grey squirrel out of the front feeder and took his place. He does have a grey patch over his shoulder blades and around his eyes now, I believe left over from the damage by the parasites, but he's hail and hardy and flies through the trees like nobody's business. And it makes my heart glad!

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1 response

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon gave props (22 Apr 2017):

    A very sweet and touching story about this little squirrel who overcame the odds. Thanks for sharing Bobbi's story, I'm so glad it ended well for him, too!

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