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Thread: Need help with release

  1. #1
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    Default Need help with release

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    So i found these two along with their nest on the ground when they were around 3-4 weeks old(eyes already opened). I fed them cerelac formula. In this photo they are 2 and a half months old, and right now they are 4 and a half months old.
    Since the last 20 they have been going out to my backyard during the morning and come back to the house by the evening. My backyard has a lot of trees and and atleast 3-4 squirrels.
    One of them didnt return for two of the nights and ended up staying out in the cold throughout the night(i tried searching for her but couldnt find her).
    For some reason the other squirrels are very hostile towards both of my squirrels, they keep trying to throw them off of branches and chase them out of trees. I do not understand this behavior because my squirrels literally do nothing for them to act this way. And my squirrels also do no fight back. This can turn out to be dangerous when there is a predator like cat near the tree and one of the squirrels throws or chases off one of my squirrels out of the tree.
    I think both of them do not eat much outside, cuz when they return back in the evening they look thin and also eat up and drink a lot of water super fast. I feel like they are starving throughout the day.
    Due to these reasons i thought about letting them free once they are a bit older(5-6 months), but now that they have gotten a taste of the outside world they do not like spending their entire day indoors. I tried keeping them inside the house one day, and they looked very sad and depressed and didnt move an inch from one of the corners, i felt so bad i had to let them free after some time.
    Although now i very rarely see any cats even near let alone inside my backyard, my major concern in terms of predation are hawks and eagle.
    What would be the best thing to do right now?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need help with release

    Hi, Sarthak. You do have a dilemma there. What we normally do is called a 'soft release': the young squirrels spend time in an outside cage for a week or more before they are actually released. Do you have a large cage that can withstand the elements and is predator-proof, that they can stay in for awhile? This process actually helps with the wild squirrels outside, as they will "meet" each other through the bars where nobody gets hurt, and eventually get used to one another. Can you build something suitable? It should be at least 4ft x 3ft, with a double wire floor that snakes cannot get into (I know, you're in INDIA!)

    I would not risk letting them go free right now if the outside wilds are so aggressive to them. WAY too dangerous.
    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. '

  3. 4 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to island rehabber:

    Buddy (01-12-2021), Mel1959 (01-13-2021), Sarthak (01-13-2021), stepnstone (01-12-2021)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Need help with release

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber View Post
    Hi, Sarthak. You do have a dilemma there. What we normally do is called a 'soft release': the young squirrels spend time in an outside cage for a week or more before they are actually released. Do you have a large cage that can withstand the elements and is predator-proof, that they can stay in for awhile? This process actually helps with the wild squirrels outside, as they will "meet" each other through the bars where nobody gets hurt, and eventually get used to one another. Can you build something suitable? It should be at least 4ft x 3ft, with a double wire floor that snakes cannot get into (I know, you're in INDIA!)

    I would not risk letting them go free right now if the outside wilds are so aggressive to them. WAY too dangerous.
    Thanks for the reply!
    I can try building something similar to that, but it will take time. And I dont think my squirrels want to stay inside during the day time anymore. I tried keeping them inside today(again!) but no luck. They ran from one window to another to find an opening to get out, and when they couldnt find one they both of them climbed up to one of the curtains in the corner and stayed still there looking depressed. I tried giving them some of their favourite foods but they took no interest to it, also tried petting them but they remained uninterested. And eventually after some time i had to let them out because I felt super bad. How do i tackle this situation? Cuz I feel bad for both letting them out and keeping them in.

    And talking about the cage, where do you think i should place it? I have attached two pictures to give you an idea of the possible places to place the cage. One of the images is of the window through which they mostly leave and return back to the house, and the other image is of the backyard.
    And btw do i need to keep them inside the cage all 24 hours of the day for the whole week? And will doing this help with the relationship of my squirrels with the ones outside? They are already super afraid of the squirrels outside and i see them running away from them as soon as they see each other even when from a distace.
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Need help with release

    Place the cage under a tree where the squirrels frequent. Put some type of a tarp on the top of it to provide protection from the sun and rain. Hang their box or whatever they normally sleep in inside the cage. Give them large tree limbs to climb on. They can be secured to the side of the cage with screws and washers. Provide yourself with a small 3”x3” door that you can open to put food in but they can’t escape from when you are feeding them. This little door will also be their exit door when it becomes time to release them.

    Yes, they should stay in there 24 hrs a day for a week or more so they can become familiar with the other squirrels and vice versa.

    Squirrels are territorial. The wilds perceive your guys as a threat for their food supply. If you are feeding the outside squirrels you should stop. They may move elsewhere if there’s no food forthcoming.

    Good luck and keep us updated.

  6. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

    Buddy (01-13-2021), island rehabber (01-13-2021)

  7. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Need help with release

    Thanks for taking up the cause, Mel1957 -- my computer went down yesterday.
    I agree with Mel's idea for the release cage and to stop feeding the wilds if you are feeding them. Your guys need extra safety right now if they are to transition to the wild.
    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. '

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