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Thread: POST RELEASE

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default POST RELEASE

    Hello Squirrel lovers... here I am, 9 weeks after finding this baby squirrel, finding myself going thru my first release. My baby squirrel is @16weeks old, and even though I would have loved to keep her for at least another couple weeks, she just seemed ready to leave the cage and desperate for freedom. She escaped twice in the last couple of weeks and safely returned, so I kind of took that as a sign from her that she is ready to go explore nature. That made it a little easier for me to let go of her so she can enjoy freedom. Therefore I just started the soft release process with her, and so far so good. Luckily I have a small but decent size wooded area right down my backyard, so I placed her cage by the fence from where she can jump right into the trees and bushes. She’s got a small opening so she can go in and out whenever she wants, and her nest box is inside. There is a family of foxes living somewhere nearby and I know there’s some raccoons in the area as well, but I’d like to think that this is still the best place for her to be released so she can still be close by instead of taking her to a park or so, and hopefully she’ll know how to take care of herself and stay safe. The first 2 days went well so far, she didn’t return to her cage and nest box the first night but she stopped by thru out the day and ate, and she is back now the second night. What I’d like to ask though, from here on, is it ok to still call her name and interact with her, pet her if she comes to me? Should I, at some point, move her nest box on one of the trees, and if so, when ? I might have some other questions, but nothing else comes thru my mind right now... I might follow up. Looking forward to your replies. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: POST RELEASE

    Yes, you can call her name and interact with her if she will let you. Be VERY careful about petting her. They usually donít like to be petted after release. She will be quick to bite you if she disapproves. She will probably still climb on your shoulder but donít mistake that as an invitation to pet her. Respect her boundaries. They change quickly after release.

    The biggest issue with the release cage is to make sure it is predator proof. In the trees, a raccoon isnít a great threat because a squirrel can escape. A predator is a huge threat to squirrels while in the release cage. If the cage is vulnerable, I would move the nest box to a tree. Make sure the nest box has predator guards. A shelf inside the box under the opening prevents raccoons from sticking an arm inside the box.

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    Diggie's Friend (06-28-2020), island rehabber (06-29-2020), RockyPops (06-29-2020)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: POST RELEASE

    Excellent post on post release and RC!

  5. #4
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    Default Re: POST RELEASE

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Yes, you can call her name and interact with her if she will let you. Be VERY careful about petting her. They usually donít like to be petted after release. She will be quick to bite you if she disapproves. .
    Ditto that. My beloved Nero, my avatar here on TSB, tore my thumb open the day after he was released because I dared to try petting his head.
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator


    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)
    Michelangelo


    *
    If you can't afford the vet,
    You can't afford a pet.
    NEGLECT IS ABUSE.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."

    '...and the greatest of these, is Love. '

  6. #5
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    Default Re: POST RELEASE

    Quote Originally Posted by HRT4SQRLS View Post
    Be VERY careful about petting her. They usually donít like to be petted after release. She will be quick to bite you if she disapproves. She will probably still climb on your shoulder but donít mistake that as an invitation to pet her. Respect her boundaries. They change quickly after release.
    AHA! That explains what I wrote below about a recently released squirrel not accepting a nut, because I approached her.
    I just posted this under the pre-release/release thread, and feel that maybe it should have been put here, so I just copied and pasted it, as I just now saw this post. I will also add, they did not let me pet them after release. I did not get bit for trying, but they evaded my hands letting me know they did not want this.

    Hello,

    Those of us who did establish relationships with the few that we have raised, continue to keep in contact with them as much as they desire and allow, we don't force this, but we appreciate it. We don't try to cut off contact. Not everyone will agree with this and that is ok, and every squirrel is different, so it is not possible to determine for sure how everything will work out every time.

    The way I look at is, my found squirrel was orphaned, I became it's family, gave it love and support for months, was the only one caring for it. Thus I prefer to give the vibe that it can come say hi, climb on me, get a treat and love if and when it desires. That way it has a sense of family and connection of sorts, while maintaining some sort of wildness.

    I have only released two sibblings, 4 years ago in my backyard. One of them would leap on me from out of nowhere, I just had to expect that I might have a squirrel land on my back at anytime I walked by a tree or building. The other sibbling did not want any more contact than taking nuts out of my hand, AND I learned quickly that she did not want to be disturbed when she was having her own time out in nature. One morning I walked up to her to give her a nut when I saw her. She chattered at me, stomped her feet and frankly, gave me the f-word in squirrel. I went back in the house with the nut and was a bit miffed, but I understood her loud and clear, she was enjoying her morning, and didn't want nosy mom at that moment. I went back out and apologized after I collected myself, and said that in all future times I would ask first before assuming that I could barge into her life at any time. From then on she never chattered at me again. When I saw her I would hold out my hand from a distance, if she turned her head away, I would leave, otherwise, she would come to me and take the nut from my hand. I was very appreciative of this relationship.

    At some point it will make sense for you to remove the cage from by the fence, and put the nest box up in a tree. If you had two nest boxes, that would be ideal, keep one in the cage and put the second one in a tree. I would leave the cage in place for a month. That is a normal time for them to find a place to live in the wild. Hopefully that helps.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    Default Re: POST RELEASE

    Thank you very much for the replies and advices... yes, the cage is predator proof and her nest box does have guards as well.

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