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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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  4. #3
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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
    Make the world a better place...one animal at a time



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    BY WENDELL BERRY
    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
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    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
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    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

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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.
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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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