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Thread: Questions on soft release in Virginia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    8
    Thanked: 10

    Red face Questions on soft release in Virginia

    I have 2 squirrels I have been rehabbing for the past couple of months. 1 male (Rocky) that is about 12 weeks now and 1 female (Scarlett) that is about 8 weeks. I am from the country and we had a pet Eastern gray for 12 years and we have rescued others growing up, so I am experienced, but not licensed. Rocky was rescued with his eyes closed, so he has bonded with me a lot. He is not afraid of my dogs or other humans and wants to be with me all the time. He loves to explore and runs freely around the house for an hour or so a day. I also have a screened in patio that I keep both squirrels outside in during the day so they get plenty of fresh air and I made a dirt box and plenty of branches for them to chew on. Rocky is cracking nuts and jumping pretty far at this point. Scarlett is a month behind him, she was rescued from a cat and had her eyes open so she is not as lovey as Rocky and she is more skittish, she will bite if you aren't careful with her. I am not sure why she bites, it must be out of curiosity because it does not seem aggressive. Rocky is sweeter and has not bitten me, but he has bitten my boyfriend whom has also helped feed him and raise him. The 2 of them get along and sleep together, but Scarlett does not "play" with Rocky. I live in Virginia and need to figure out the best way to release them.

    My questions are as follows:
    1. Rocky had an infected penis when rescued that was very difficult to heal. I had to pull scabs off of it for 2 weeks and squeeze pus out of it, which eventually healed and the infection cleared up, but now when he pees, the pee drips out and urine soaks his fur, like the urine is not streaming out well enough like it should. Every couple of days I have to clean off the yellow stained fur with the running faucet, which he does not like LOL. Will he be okay to be released with this issue?
    2. I live near a busy roadway, so they cannot be released at my home. My sister lives beside a park with lots of trees and has agreed to help me release them. She can feed them daily, but she has to work during the day... so will it be okay to leave their cage outside and soft release them at her home? Should we build a wooden nest box in a tree nearby and show them the box? How should I build the box to make it the safest against predators?
    3. With Scarlett being a month younger, when do I start the soft release? Summer ends here in VA in September so I want to make sure they have enough time.
    4. What things can I do to better prepare them for release?
    5. Is it the best thing to release them? My worry is that Rocky won't want to leave, but I'm hoping instincts will kick in, especially with me not being there. Should I let them get used to my sister first before releasing them? I can't stay at my sister's house, so I would be dropping them off and it will be all new to them. They will have their cage which is familiar to them, but all of this seems so stressful. Will they come back to the cage and get food even if my sister is there and she is a new person?
    6. When should I begin the soft release?

    It's so hard being a rehabber, I really feel for all of you. Scarlett had pneumonia and I had to spend many sleepless nights with both of these squirrels doctoring them up and getting them to where they are now. We are moving next year and they are alot of work so I really can't keep them past the summer. Is it the best thing to release them? My worry is that Rocky won't want to leave, but I'm hoping instincts will kick in, especially with me not being there.

    Sorry for the long post. I am adding a picture of Rocky's penis for answers....and a few others of both squirrels.

    Thank you in advance for any advice.
    Sincerely,
    "Worried squirrel mom"


  2. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to green girl:

    Chirps (05-06-2020), RockyPops (05-06-2020)

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Rivendell
    Posts
    691
    Thanked: 1120

    Default Re: Questions on soft release in Virginia

    They are adorable! Kudos to you, Mom!

    I don't have anything useful to say, except I appreciate your inner turmoil.

    As to Rocky's "dripping", I wonder if he has scar tissue built up inside his urethra (ureter? whatever) that restricts flow. At least one of my brothers had piping that was too narrow as a baby and had a procedure done to widen the tube. No idea if that's even an option for a squirrel, or if that's even his issue, but seems possible. I wonder why he doesn't clean himself.

  4. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Chirps from:

    RockyPops (05-06-2020)

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