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Thread: Help please! Might need help Wilding up my 5 mo male Fox Squirrel

  1. #1
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    Default Help please! Might need help Wilding up my 5 mo male Fox Squirrel

    Hello,
    I,m new here...not sure how this works. I rescued a male fox squirrel in March...I estimate his age was 5 weeks...his mother and siblings were shot by a neighbor for being nuisances. I syringe fed him...he weened himself...he is a very good eater : he is on rodent block,Henrys squares,little fruit...lots of veggies...a few seeds and or small nuts. He weighs 740g very shiny healthy coat and eyes. he is in a very large cat cage with 4 levels and hammocks 6 ft tall....he has lots of hanging hard wood toys and blocks and rocks. he is let out several times a day to play and hang out. He is scared if i walk outside with him on my shoulder. lately he seems more restless in cage....pacing! and this past week when he comes out of cage to play...he seems to be restless...looking at windows and getting into everything...he used to be content with playing with me. im very concerned that he might need to be set free at proper time as he might not be content with being a house squirrel. I want to do whats best for him and I want him to be happy...im willing to do whats necessary. hes still playful and sweet but the longer hes out of cage...then hes looking for action. I live in California in the Bay Area...Walnut Creek. Does anyone know a rehabber who might be willing to work with me ? Show me what to do? Im not willing to euthanize him(no way!) I love him dearly! His name is Chewy! also...If anyone knows of a Exotic Vet that would treat him in an emergency here in East Bay area California? Just in case. PLEASE no scolding or criticism! I welcome any help or advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Help please! Might need help Wilding up my 5 mo male Fox Squirrel

    Talk about deja vu; I live in California and raised a fox squirrel I named Chewy!

    It does sound like he wants to be free. In order to support this end he will first needs to be wiided up. For this you will need a roomy outside cage that provides shade and includes a nestbox, and surrogate wild habitat for him to interact with. The habitat part I read you have down, so what is left is building a cage and nest box, that is if you can't buy one. After a few weeks, when he moves away from you each time you reach for him, not wanting you to touch him, you will know he is ready.

    The problem with California isn't that they would kill him, save he was too tame that is following people around for food hand outs, but the protocol to release in the same area the squirrel was found. For with the Bay area being a high traffic zone (the number one cause of death in tree squirrels overall), save in perhaps some more secluded outlining areas, will not well support him reaching his natural lifespan.

    Locating a release site then is going to be a challenge, as this species of tree squirrel was introduced to the West coast about a 100 years ago, where it adapted to living in human habitats.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help please! Might need help Wilding up my 5 mo male Fox Squirrel

    I thought to add, that some rehabbers that are aware of this will choose to not release in the area that the squirrel was found, but in an area they they have found that provides a more wild habitat, with trees that support them with food, water, and nest sites. This typically is near oaks with nearby streams, which provide a huge amount of acorns in the fall. Where there is no year round water source it gets dicey as to whether they can survive the hotter months of the year.

    The other draw back would be to release in a less trafficed area that is adjacent to crops, and/or orchards, where people have little tolerance for the squirrels predating their crops. Releasing tree squirrels away from humans is the best choice in support of their long-term survival. The only concern rehabbers may have is that releasing Fox squirrels in areas where there are Western Gray squirrels might pressure the indigenouse species. Yet here in the Southland this was studied, and it wasn't found to be a signficant issue for the survival of the Western Gray squirrel. Still some rehabbers may think it might, and not want to do a release in a wild areas inhabitated by the Western Gray. If you release only where there are other fox squirrels, that shouldn't present an issue.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help please! Might need help Wilding up my 5 mo male Fox Squirrel

    I just remembered where Walnut Creek is, and recall there are wild areas that would work for a release.

    An area that is away from well trafficed areas and crops, with other Fox squirrels, and mature trees that provide good cover from predators from above, that has with Walnut and/or Oaks that provide truffles at the base fo their roots, along with access to water, you may find your release site. If there was a farm home that likes squirrels, even better, for then their would be no access for hunters.

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