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Thread: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

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    Default Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer. I posted this yesterday in the intro forum, but realize I should have posted here in the non-life threatening area, I think?

    I am seeking help with our newly released male, grey squirrel named Remy. He has become quite aggressive since his release and is beginning to be a mischievous terror.

    To back up a bit... He was found last Labor Day by my daughter. We determined that he was approx 5 weeks of age and hand fed him until he weaned himself during the month of October. We kept him in the house at first, of course, in a large aquarium then moved him to a larger cage out on our porch in early October. At that point we began to fear for his ability to winter over and keep away from predators, and so to ensure his survival, we opted to winter him over in a soft release cage. I built a nest box for him and hung it in an old hoop house pen I had from raising ducks and turkeys. I poured a barrel of fallen leaves inside the pen for him and some pieces of fleece and he immediately got to work making a cozy nest in the box. We fed him and cared for him all winter. He did exceptionally well despite the cold and snow. The hoop house is about 8' x 6' or so and he played, climbed all over his branches and perches, and was very affectionate. We anxiously awaited spring and planned to release him as soon as the trees fully leafed out. It was our plan from the beginning, but I cried like a baby the night before. We released him early on Saturday morning Memorial Day weekend. He was elated. We proudly watched him for hours exploring, climbing trees, etc. We left his pen open that night and subsequent nights in case he wanted to return - which he did the first night. He was then gone for the next few days and returned to visit us...a bit shaken. He wanted to be petted and reassured? Then gone for a whole week with no sign of him. We still left food out just in case. After he returned from his week away, he was different. Cautious. A bit nervous around us all of a sudden. He seemed conflicted. He jumped on me to perch, but when I went to pet him he bit. Hard. Blood everywhere! He did the same to my husband. His claws are super razor sharp now, too. Well since then, I have been fearful of the little guy...not knowing if he will be gentle or aggressive. He has taken to watching the house. He will come to the kitchen windows overlooking our porch and hang on the screens to see if we are in there, occasionally in the morning, but mostly at supper. If we go outside he immediately comes running and jumps on us. He will be very aggressive if he thinks/hopes we have food for him. I cannot let my elderly mom (who lives with us) sit out on the porch as I fear for her safety. And then last weekend, Remy even chewed through our porch patio light strings and somehow did not electrocute himself!!! 😳Thank God. And he was even seen running away with a few of the light bulbs before I could shut the power off and get out there to take the lights down! I later read where squirrels may do this??!! He also digs up my potted plants out on the porch.

    Last evening, I went out with some food and Remy made a bee line for me from literally out of nowhere. He immediately jumped on me, looked in my hoodie pocket and stole the food. He then jumped on my head and scratched my scalp. Ouch! I had fireplace gloves on so he couldn't bite my hands again. Can you please, please advise me? I want to do what is right by him. I know he had become a bit food aggressive in the month or two before his release. I chalked it off to him beginning to wild up more and more, but he still was affectionate. I don't have a problem if he wants to hang around and visit us, but I don't want to be scared to go outside for fear of attack, especially in the summer when no one wants to be outside in full squirrel protective gear! We really don't have many squirrels around for him to socialize with though one would occasionally visit him during the late winter when he was living in the hoop house. I hate that I feel like a prisoner in my own home, afraid to go out for fear he will appear out of nowhere and hurt me or one of my family members.

    This morning I held a broom out to keep him at bay while providing cover for my daughter so she could get to her car for work. People laugh when they hear this, but of course, it's not really funny. I have been told this can occur with males. Is that true? Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Would you recommend setting up a squirrel feeder to attract friends? Should I take down his nest box in the hoop house? I am not even sure if he even goes in the box any longer to be honest, though if he's not around, I still set his food in the hoop house.

    Sincerely,
    Jennifer

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    I personally have not experienced this problem after release. One of my girls was a bit rough at first after release if we ran out of treats, but she calmed down after a bit.
    Hopefully someone with a similar experience can give some ideas.

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    Thank you for your reply! My husband spoke to a coworker who raised a female squirrel and she also had no troubles with aggressive behavior. I am definitely looking forward to any advice/suggestions for our little Remy.

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, I keep hearing and reading that females are not as likely to be aggressive.

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    We released 2 little boys this year.
    While in the house Apollo was a sweetheart and he still was on release day. He played with me and then wandered into the woods without returning.
    Alfred was a bit of a challenge in the house and I had to start wearing a face shield and leather gloves right around Christmas until release, he is now a friendly daily visitor.
    They are all so different and we honestly never know how they will act after release.
    I don't let Alfred jump on me, but he gently takes treats out of my hand.
    Interestingly I was not able to cage them together even though close in age, because the 4 weeks younger Alfred wanted nothing to do with Apollo who wanted to be his friend so badly.

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    That's really a bummer that Remy has changed so. I only raised one, and after the one time she bit my pinky deep in a fit of food aggression, I never touched her again. She had never been much for being touched anyway after 6-7 weeks. When she bit me hard was after she'd been released. She still came for food and treats since she lived in a box in my yard 20 feet from the house. I had stupidly been petting her, trying to feel how thick her fur was getting for winter, while she was eating from my other palm. But we still had a good relationship afterward until she disappeared the next summer. I just was cautious how I gave her treats. She may have forgotten the bite, but I couldn't. She always jumped on me, dropping down from a branch overhead. I still fed her treats from my hand, but only long things like pecans so I could hold the very end and she'd take the other end in her teeth.

    In your situation I would just not have any food on my person for a few days. Or longer depending on his attitude. He may jump on you to check, but might stop if no food is forthcoming. Maybe you can work back to giving him stuff if he is less pushy about it, but maybe not. I get that you still want a relationship with him. I would too. But for now at least backing off might be best. I would keep my hands curled to protect my fingers and still to discourage him from reacting to them as if they are rivals if he suddenly jumps on you and catches you unawares.

    He can maybe be conditioned to stay away from the porch. Someone (you or husband, not Mom) might try a hand towel or bigger, maybe shake it vigorously, the way a squirrel flips the tail sideways, if he comes calling there. Or just hang out there with no food and let him come and check you out and see there's no food. But if you do plan to eat there sometimes it might be best to just persuade him that that area is off limits. If he can learn that a shaking towel (doesn't have to be shaken AT him, just the extra animation/movement may deter him) means not here, not now, he may be dissuaded from the porch.

    Another way (maybe) to keep a relationship but at a distance is to have food but drop it on the ground in front of him before he jumps on you. That will only work if you know he's coming, and even so I can picture you tossing/dropping food and him totally missing it and jumping on you anyway, in which case I'd quick get my hands in my pockets or curl them against my body to protect my fingers.

    Is he totally fearless of you, or could he be intimidated if you moved quickly or exaggeratedly? The reason I ask is you might make him think twice about running and jumping on you with body language/cues. Do you have trees with low branches or crotches where you can place treats? He may be taught that food will never come directly from your hand but that he can "meet" you to get treats at specified stations. I have a wild who learned to come get her pecan when I tap next to where I placed it. I have hand fed her a few times, but she is grabby and often gives me a good poke with a claw or two since she grabs my fingers as she takes the treat in her teeth. BUT she is a wild so is always cautious. Pushy in some ways but fearful. I have another who is pushy but I'm almost sure I could get her to jump through hoops to get the treats she knows I place on feed can tops, tree crotches, etc. Remy might just come barreling in on you and make it hard for you to place a treat in an acceptable place though.

    No idea if he'd understand it coming from you, but to warn each other to "back off" squirrels champ their teeth rapidly at another. Also I don't know if he'd challenge such a display if he understood it coming from humans who have never spoken his language before. Usually the champer follows through by chasing the other if it ignores the threat.

    Okay, it's way late here. So many ideas swimming in my head, mental videos of this or that and it working or failing miserably.

    But I do sympathize with your frustration, and yes, it hurts emotionally when our children act this way.
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    This is definitely not the norm with squirrels in general. I have released many males and fortunately have not experienced this behavior.

    I would place a feeding station out away from the house on the perimeter of the property, preferably under a tree. I would feed at only that location in the feeder, not by hand. You may have to be a prisoner in your house for a period of time till Remy realizes that food doesnít come from your hands any longer, but hopefully heíll start associating the food with the feeding station instead of you. An added bonus is it may draw other squirrels to the neighborhood. If necessary put the food out at dusk or just after so you donít have to encounter him with food in your possession.

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    Jennifer, Iím sorry that Remy is causing problems. A LOT of what you described is very typical. I have released many squirrels in my yard. One of the first things I learned was that squirrels donít want to be touched after release. That includes the hand that fed them as a baby. My first desire when they approach me was to want to pet them. That is a big NO NO. I have only had one that would allow me to pet him and that was for a short time. My special girl that was around for five years or more would bite me EVERY time I touched her. She would climb on me BUT she made it quite clear that she wasnít giving permission for me to pet her. Sometimes I just couldnít resist touching her and she was always quick to remind me that I wasnít allowed to pet her. Even if she was on my shoulder, petting was not allowed. That first bite from Remy was communicated that same message. I think part of that might be instincts. Predators grab them from the back or hindquarters so they are super sensitive about that.

    Another problem as Chirps pointed out was giving food with your hand. If they associate your hand with food they will seek out your hands and if food isnít there you are very likely to be bitten. Often they will bite you with food as well. Yes to the feeding station or placing food away from the house or porch. When the food association with you is broken he will likely lose the aggression associated with it.

    I have had releases climb on my head and sit. I have never had one go into attack mode on my head. When they begin to slip off they will dig those razor sharp claws in to my head and yes, it hurts as those claws rip through my scalp.

    Most begin to wild up almost immediately after release. Sure, they still want a handout but other than food most donít want that relationship with their human. I am totally OK with that. I want them independent, free and wild. If they still let me be a part of their life I am thrilled.

    I believe with time and food separation Remy will stop being aggressive toward you and your family. With this said, there are a few exceptions. I can remember a few that were holy terrors after release. They had a terrible attitude and were mad at the world and everyone was going to pay. It was not a food aggression issue, they were just mean as a snake. They stalked the yard in waiting to launch an unprovoked, vicious attack on the humans. The people were terrified of the attack squirrel in the yard. This is a totally different issue. In cases like that it might be necessary to recapture the squirrel and release far away from homes. Itís one thing for your squirrel to attack you but when they attack a neighbor, IT IS ON!!! We have seen cases like that also. I will never forget the one that attacked a neighbor as she unloaded groceries from her car. It was very ugly involving the ER, the evening news, attorneys, court and huge liability. You donít want that.

    I also remember an experienced rehabber that had an attack squirrel in the yard. She made the decision to recapture and make the squirrel a non-release. IMO that was horrible. It would have been better to euthanize the animal than to keep an angry aggressive squirrel a prisoner for the rest of his life. I would have NEVER done that. I would have hard released him in a forest and bid him God speed and success.

    I would give this time. Donít try to handle him. If he climbs on you donít try to fight him off. Stand firm and tuck your hands and turn you face away from him to protect your face. Donít feed by hand. I hope this helps. I remember another member with this problem and she lived in a home that wasnít her own. The squirrel was in jeopardy of being killed for aggression. It did work out and it ended well.

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    To Lukaslolamaus, Chirps, Mel1959 and HRT4SQRLS:

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and empathic responses. Please forgive me for not responding individually to each of you. Writing from my phone is proving challenging and for some reason, I can't sign in on the desk top page. In fact, I just wrote a lengthy response, hit submit and half of what I wrote has disappeared!!! 😔 So forgive me for not wanting to try to rewrite it at this time of night. Here is what some of the autos saved content kept:

    So yesterday, Remy appeared as I was finishing up mowing in the early evening. I went in, suited up and brought out his food. I was determined not to be scared. Do they sense our fear? He was waiting on the porch railing and hopped onto my shoulder. He got a little aggressive as we approached the hoop house, rushing down my arm and across my chest, so I shook him off with my arm. He hid under a nearby wheelbarrow. I composed myself, called to him and he followed me in. I set down his food and water and left him alone. I sat at a distance and watched him and his sidekick chipmunk friend. He ate and watched me. When he was done, he went off and sat in a crabapple tree. I approached him and took some pictures and spoke gently to him. He eventually went off further into the trees. I have no idea if he is still using his nest box in the hoop house any longer or not.

    Tonight (and this is prior to reading your kind responses), I went out and left food for him. I called, but there was no sign of him. I no sooner got back in the house that he was on the kitchen window screen peering in. I told him that his food was outside in the pen. He stayed a minute more and went off. I could see him through the window eating. The hoop house pen is about 40ft from our house.

    I think placing a feeder station along the perimeter of our property is an excellent plan and will work on it this week. Should I take down his nest box? I don't know if he is using it, but I wouldn't want to upset him.

    In so far as his behavior, other than food aggression which developed in the late winter, Remy was very affectionate. He loved being handled and receiving belly rubs. He also enjoyed having me rub under his arms and chin - he would almost go into a trance. He did enjoy rough play and hated when I had gloves on, but I needed to wear them as my hands were so scratched up.

    I will work on cues. I have tried some foot tapping/stamping. This works to a degree, but then he gets brave and launches himself at me anyway.

    Thank you all again!

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    To Lukaslolamaus, Chirps, Mel1959 and HRT4SQRLS:

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and empathic responses. Please forgive me for not responding individually to each of you. Writing from my phone is proving challenging and for some reason, I can't sign in on the desk top page. In fact, I just wrote a lengthy response, hit submit and half of what I wrote has disappeared!!! 😔 So forgive me for not wanting to try to rewrite it at this time of night. Here is what some of the autos saved content kept:

    So yesterday, Remy appeared as I was finishing up mowing in the early evening. I went in, suited up and brought out his food. I was determined not to be scared. Do they sense our fear? He was waiting on the porch railing and hopped onto my shoulder. He got a little aggressive as we approached the hoop house, rushing down my arm and across my chest, so I shook him off with my arm. He hid under a nearby wheelbarrow. I composed myself, called to him and he followed me in. I set down his food and water and left him alone. I sat at a distance and watched him and his sidekick chipmunk friend. He ate and watched me. When he was done, he went off and sat in a crabapple tree. I approached him and took some pictures and spoke gently to him. He eventually went off further into the trees. I have no idea if he is still using his nest box in the hoop house any longer or not.
    I'm curious. Was he making any noises as he ran down your arm? Shaking him off seemed to work. Seemed like he got the message but it didn't put him off you entirely if he let you approach afterward. Also, how do you transport the food? Bag, closed container, bowl? Just wondering if there's a way to conceal it so if he ninjas you in future he MAY not think you have food and may just ride you for a bit or all the way to the hoop house. I doubt that idea myself though. Their noses are VERY good.

    Tonight (and this is prior to reading your kind responses), I went out and left food for him. I called, but there was no sign of him. I no sooner got back in the house that he was on the kitchen window screen peering in. I told him that his food was outside in the pen. He stayed a minute more and went off. I could see him through the window eating. The hoop house pen is about 40ft from our house.
    That's good. Maybe he heard you calling and got there late. And twice he got to get his food at the pen, away from your house and porch.

    I think placing a feeder station along the perimeter of our property is an excellent plan and will work on it this week. Should I take down his nest box? I don't know if he is using it, but I wouldn't want to upset him.
    I would leave the nest box, even if he isn't using it, so in case something happens to whatever he is using, he'll have a safe backup house.

    In so far as his behavior, other than food aggression which developed in the late winter, Remy was very affectionate. He loved being handled and receiving belly rubs. He also enjoyed having me rub under his arms and chin - he would almost go into a trance. He did enjoy rough play and hated when I had gloves on, but I needed to wear them as my hands were so scratched up.
    You were luckier than I was. Even before she was weaned physical contact was mostly on Navvy's terms. I didn't pick her up. She jumped or climbed onto me. Maybe I'm just too wussy about rough play and should have played with her more. Once she was out and about (and after the bite) I never attempted to touch her. I got to trust her again to jump on me and ride me as I moved around. She always jumped on me (from above or from shoulder-height in a tree, never the ground) and I never tried to discourage her, but was nervous, especially when trying to get a treat from my pocket without her getting food aggressive. She knew it was there, and would usually try to get at it, but she never growled or acted aggressive. She'd run back and forth from one shoulder to the other and up and down. I'd fish out a treat while she was on the other side of me and hand it to her when she got back to that side. Once her head and my hand were both in my pocket at once. I just kept my hand very still and let her rummage around until she grabbed something and pulled her head out, but it was nerve-wracking thinking of those teeth almost touching my sensitive digits and worrying that I'd do something by accident to make her bite.

    My personal theory about her particular situation was that aggression came once food was in her possession. I'd see twinges of it if I gave her something. Not always, but enough to know it was always close to the surface. I'm trying to give so much detail because if Remy thinks the same way it could be significant in helping prevent a bite if he ambushes you on your way to filling the feeder or bringing out his food.

    Getting sleepy, hard to articulate. I guess I'm asking if he is trying to bully you when you bring food out, or does he take something and then act aggressive about keeping it? It's a slight difference but significant if he doesn't attack you to GET food but would attack you to KEEP it. Does that make sense? And no, I wouldn't want to call his bluff either but it might ease the fear factor a bit if you get caught out with food.

    I will work on cues. I have tried some foot tapping/stamping. This works to a degree, but then he gets brave and launches himself at me anyway.
    Do you not want him to jump on you at all anymore, or just not at certain times, like when you're putting out food? Just wondering.
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    Hello Chirps,

    So sorry for my delayed response. As I type, Remy is out on the porch railing lapping up dried sugar water drips from our hummingbird feeder.

    So to answer your questions....

    Remy generally makes a little grumbly 'hmmm, hmmm' sound. That never sounds angry to me? Should it?

    I formerly was wrapping the food in a paper towel as well as carrying fresh water to his bowl. We are now carrying the food in an open plastic container. If he runs down an arm, he can grab a treat while riding on us to the hoop house. It helps to distract him.

    I totally understand what you mean about the food aggression coming out once food is in Remy's possession. Like your Navvy, Remy acts similarly. Prior to his release, as I would deposit his food on a perch attached to his house, he would initially grab something and then as I was laying out the rest of the food, he would attack my fingers even though his mouth was full. After our recent bites, my husband and I are definitely gun shy and are using a plastic container and fireplace gloves. And no, I don't think he outright attacks to get food. He just can't wait.

    Last evening while I was at work, my husband said as he finished up working on the mower, Remy appeared out from under a car. He immediately ran inside - partly from fear, as he wasn't wearing gloves and also, because he forgot the time. It was 7:30pm. He said he got gloves and carried out Remy's food, but Remy had disappeared. He was in reality watching from a garden fence. When called, Remy jumped down, followed my husband to the pen, and all went smoothly. He ate and then disappeared. (We leave the house propped open a couple inches so he can get in and out, but no other critters can easily get in.)

    I don't mind him jumping on me as long as he behaves. It's weird, before his release, I felt safe. He was predictable, affectionate. I think I am having to learn what the new normal is now. He definitely has the upper hand. Are there any good books you can recommend on squirrel behavior? I think he has decided that we are his family.

    As I conclude and glance out the window by which I sit writing, Remy is laying stretched out flat on the porch railing, head on his paws watching me. We are separated by the window screen. I adore him, but I am afraid, too. It's 80 + degrees outside and if I want to go out right now, I will have to put on my 'suit of armor' just in case. That I don't like. It's too hot. Clearly all the months he has spent out in the hoop house, he has watched everything. He has learned the patterns of our comings and goings, the sound of the door, etc. Now, I fear he is out there laying in wait...watching us, even if we can't see him. It's a bit unnerving. But, I look at him right now laying like that and wonder... is content or depressed?

    Just like with your kids, you want them to be happy and well adjusted.

    Thank you so much for your insights and also for your questions aimed to assist me. I appreciate it very much.

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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Hello Chirps,

    So sorry for my delayed response. As I type, Remy is out on the porch railing lapping up dried sugar water drips from our hummingbird feeder.
    Yeah, life happened to me also.

    So to answer your questions....

    Remy generally makes a little grumbly 'hmmm, hmmm' sound. That never sounds angry to me? Should it?
    I haven't figured out the purr/growl. Some people say a purr is just that, a sound of contentment. But I was never sure what I was hearing was a purr. And it always seemed more in the realm of warning, but that could just be because it SOUNDED like a growl to me and that's how I interpreted it. If he just makes the sound without anything like food around, I guess it's a purr? But if there's food, any noises I'd have to think mean "Back off, MINE!"

    I formerly was wrapping the food in a paper towel as well as carrying fresh water to his bowl. We are now carrying the food in an open plastic container. If he runs down an arm, he can grab a treat while riding on us to the hoop house. It helps to distract him.
    That's good. I guess. If it works, right? Does he eat what he took while riding you to the hoop house? Or does he jmp off? Or both? Do you worry that he'll get aggressive as he's eating on you? I wouldn't, but also not in your situation. I really think it's the hands that trigger them.

    I totally understand what you mean about the food aggression coming out once food is in Remy's possession. Like your Navvy, Remy acts similarly. Prior to his release, as I would deposit his food on a perch attached to his house, he would initially grab something and then as I was laying out the rest of the food, he would attack my fingers even though his mouth was full. After our recent bites, my husband and I are definitely gun shy and are using a plastic container and fireplace gloves. And no, I don't think he outright attacks to get food. He just can't wait.
    So that kind of follows the hand/finger trigger theory. I can't remember who, maybe CritterMom? put it well-- that hands are like other squirrels to them. They don't seem to get that they're part of the human package.

    Last evening while I was at work, my husband said as he finished up working on the mower, Remy appeared out from under a car. He immediately ran inside - partly from fear, as he wasn't wearing gloves and also, because he forgot the time. It was 7:30pm. He said he got gloves and carried out Remy's food, but Remy had disappeared. He was in reality watching from a garden fence. When called, Remy jumped down, followed my husband to the pen, and all went smoothly. He ate and then disappeared. (We leave the house propped open a couple inches so he can get in and out, but no other critters can easily get in.)
    Bummer that your husband should have felt so unsafe. I wonder, if it hadn't been past feeding time, how Remy might have interacted (or not). Just remember if you or he do get caught out like that the hand tuck. Turn yourself into a tree trunk with no "squirrel" hands for him to get angry at. Hopefully he wouldn't do anything. Navvy never did or act like she would have, but I guess one never knows.
    One thing to take from that experience is that Remy didn't come barreling at your husband and climb all over, biting like a maniac. You could look at it as Remy wondering when dinner was coming and going to "ask" about it. I know it's hard to not think that an appearance will automatically mean an attack, but it might not be as bad as you fear.

    I don't mind him jumping on me as long as he behaves. It's weird, before his release, I felt safe. He was predictable, affectionate. I think I am having to learn what the new normal is now. He definitely has the upper hand. Are there any good books you can recommend on squirrel behavior? I think he has decided that we are his family.
    Yup, totally get that. I had to learn too. I can tell you how it went for us, but don't know enough to know how much behavior can be generalized or how much may be unique. I know of no books. Probably your best source of info is the people here who have done this many times and have found what to expect from their released squirrels. You already know not to try to touch him. From here on it's probably a matter of you and him coming to an understanding. Only way I can describe it.

    As I conclude and glance out the window by which I sit writing, Remy is laying stretched out flat on the porch railing, head on his paws watching me. We are separated by the window screen. I adore him, but I am afraid, too. It's 80 + degrees outside and if I want to go out right now, I will have to put on my 'suit of armor' just in case. That I don't like. It's too hot. Clearly all the months he has spent out in the hoop house, he has watched everything. He has learned the patterns of our comings and goings, the sound of the door, etc. Now, I fear he is out there laying in wait...watching us, even if we can't see him. It's a bit unnerving. But, I look at him right now laying like that and wonder... is content or depressed?

    Just like with your kids, you want them to be happy and well adjusted.

    Thank you so much for your insights and also for your questions aimed to assist me. I appreciate it very much.
    Do you really need to suit up all the way? I was afraid of that eventuality. All through the winter I imagined what I'd wear that Navvy could get a grip on to climb around on me. I thought of getting a fisherman's vest to have pockets for treats and to protect me, but found it to be unnecessary. She could get around fine on my t-shirts and didn't dig in to the skin. I just learned to keep my hands still or movement to a minimum. Our relationship was that she would come to me and sit on my shoulder to eat her pecans, but it sounds like Remy might be too food aggressive for that. From what you describe I'd be leery of trying anyway. And it would also confuse the system he seems to be learning that food happens in the hoop house. (And on the ride over, lol)
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

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

    sundoesshine (02-14-2021)

  23. #14
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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    This is an example of our routine more or less as time went on. She would see me and come, or I would hang around and wait for her to show up.

    http://youtu.be/MRSsEf_sjHE

    You see how she waited for me to give her something. I wasn't afraid of being bitten as long as I did things a certain way. Pecans are good because one can hold the very end and the squirrel can take the other. She does jump on me in the video, but I was always used to her doing that and never saw it as aggressive. When she goes in my coat pocket you can't see but my hand is very still and not near. I'd always go in my pocket when she was on my other shoulder or elsewhere, and if she got there before I got something I'd just pull my hand out and freeze it with fingers curled so she could go in the pocket. And I never ever tried to touch her. I don't know how badly Remy has you spooked, like would you be afraid to video him if his face was all in the camera like that, and SHOULD you be afraid.

    This is the last time I saw my Love. I was feeding things before work. When she was quicker than me as I fumbled for pecans notice that I didn't argue. Also I didn't try to get the bag back as I'm sure she would have tried to bite. And I carefully and slowly retrieved the feed scoop in hope of not triggering food aggression. Yet we still had a good relationship as she used me to defend against the wild. She at one point rode me away so I could give her treats away from the bold wild.

    http://youtu.be/QlMaivRJ00c



    One more if you can stand it. It's loooong though, but shows how it's possible to still have a bond, as long as we don't try to touch them.

    https://youtu.be/jvWBwKOsXgA


    It's hard to say without seeing him in action but if Remy was used to jumping on you, running all over you and riding you, then those actions don't seem like aggression to me. Now if Remy is that greedy/pushy that you can't give him anything by hand, so be it, and you can have your relationship of you just looking out for him and making sure he's got food and shelter, and him hanging around so you know he's safe.
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-baby-squirrel-care-guide/

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

    sundoesshine (02-11-2021)

  25. #15
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    Default Re: Need help with newly released grey squirrel and aggressive behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesi View Post
    The idea was to not domesticate her too much, but she is just so very sociable and engaging that it's hard not to interact.
    Hi, I am wondering if you have an update for Remy, as I pretty much have the same situation and I am extremely curious what the pros will say about this as well.

    We just raised a singleton from 5 months, jr., who decided to turn on my husband around Jan 1. He self released from our garage; coming home for dinner and playtime nightly. With his show of aggression, we moved his nest box outside. My question now is how best to proceed. He seems to miss interaction greatly. Currently we hang out through the sliding glass door while he eats to make sure other squirrels don't get his food.

    So my question is, if he still wants to interact with me, should I? Or is it best to stop ALL human contact.

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