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Thread: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

  1. #1
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    Default Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    My released squirrel is pregnant, just noticed nipples two weeks ago.

    Yesterday, I watched her lick tar in the middle of the road (a small side street) for 5 minutes. I kept watch, and no cars came at all. When she finished, I went out to look at where she had been licking. It was one of those tar patches that they put down as patches to fix small issues in asphalt pavement.

    I assume her body is telling her she needs a nutrient? Has anyone seen this, or knows what she is looking for that she licked tar for so long?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    That's really odd, Nancy. Unfortunately my quick search on the internet found that asphalt (bitumen) is a petroleum product, but did not say what other components might be. I wouldn't think that would be a great thing for her to be licking, but you would think that she's not likely to poison herself.

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    Default Re: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    That's really odd, Nancy. Unfortunately my quick search on the internet found that asphalt (bitumen) is a petroleum product, but did not say what other components might be. I wouldn't think that would be a great thing for her to be licking, but you would think that she's not likely to poison herself.
    She looks great today, happy, doing her thing. I just love to observe, and then learn and understand. I'm sure she was doing it for a reason, and if tar is the only way she could get what she wanted, I am asking TSB in order to find out what others might know, so I will be able to put something out there that might be a better match to what she needs/wants. :-)

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    Default Re: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    Hmmm...I read once, not here, that squirrels have been known to lick roads for salt...as in salt treated roads in the winter it is odd that she was licking a patch in the road not knowing the location....I'd assume something had been thrown out the window of a passing car....and the remnants were still on the road....or some sort of nut, fruit, bud from an overhanging tree definitely an odd situation....very frightening too
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shewhosweptforest View Post
    Hmmm...I read once, not here, that squirrels have been known to lick roads for salt...as in salt treated roads in the winter it is odd that she was licking a patch in the road not knowing the location....I'd assume something had been thrown out the window of a passing car....and the remnants were still on the road....or some sort of nut, fruit, bud from an overhanging tree definitely an odd situation....very frightening too
    I too thought she might have found smashed food, but, when I looked, truly I saw nothing, except an area of tar applied to the asphalt, and that might have just been by coincidence.

    You might have a point about salt, thank you. :-) I had not thought of that. I did put some salt out, and I'll do a little more research into that.

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    Default Re: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    Water will condense on or fill in those tar covered cracks. My guess is she was licking water.
    See my wild squirrel adventures in the thread "Squirtle's yard!":
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    Default Re: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    If I had to guess, its probably the salts used on the roads in the winter that are attractive. Many animals love to lick salty things.
    Sciurus meus amicum optimum est!

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    Default Re: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    I have seen many, many different squirrels licking the tar patches on my road. It is always the tar patches that they lick, not the road itself.

    This happens throughout the year, so I do not believe it is road salt. It is late July now after a very wet last 3-4 months, so unless the tar traps the salt somehow, I doubt there would be any road salt left on the road.

    I just watched one licking the tar patch. Today, temperatures have been in the high 90s, and the road is as dry as a bone. So I do not believe water is the explanation either. Plus, if this squirrel was thirsty, there is water in my yard about forty feet from where it was licking the tar. Local squirrels certainly know that there is always water there for them. (In the winter, we use a bird bath that plugs in so that it does not freeze. We leave it on the ground so that the rabbits and chipmunks can also get water.)

    i do not have any explanation, by the way. I have been curious about this myself for years.

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    Default Re: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    It is noted to be for reason of the minerals in the asphalt.

    All the same, squirrels licking this spot should be shooed away from the obviously toxic tar for their own good!

    You might be surprised to learn what they make out of toxic coal tar!

    Unnatural toxic sourced Vitamin B1 and Vitamin K2 are made from coal tar.

    Vitamin B3 - (Nicotinic acid) is created using coal tar, ammonia, acids, 3-cyanopyridine, and formaldehyde.
    Vitamin K2 - (Menadione) is made from coal tar derivatives and genetically modified and hydrogenated soybean oil, and hydrochloric acid, and nickel.

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    Default Re: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    I see squirrels doing this frequently and have wondered if they are eating the calcium that is present in the little rocks on the road. Especially when pregnant, they need additional calcium!

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    Default Re: Why does wild release lick tar in road?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diggie's Friend View Post
    It is noted to be for reason of the minerals in the asphalt.

    All the same, squirrels licking this spot should be shooed away from the obviously toxic tar for their own good!

    You might be surprised to learn what they make out of toxic coal tar!

    Unnatural toxic sourced Vitamin B1 and Vitamin K2 are made from coal tar.
    Yum!

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