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Thread: Released Squirrel Biting

  1. #1
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    Default Released Squirrel Biting

    Approximately 8 month old male Eastern Gray I raised from 2 weeks old. I released Gus two weeks ago. Didnít see him for three days and then he decided to come back to his next box in the tree near our house. This last week he started biting people. He bit me this morning when I was putting his food out. Not maliciously, I think he thought he I was still holding his pecan and he was trying to take it from me. When he jumps on people of they panic and that scares Gus so he bites. I am hoping if we move his nest box further away from the house he wonít come to the house and wait on me to feed him and run into other people. Any other ideas short of moving him to the middle of a forrest somewhere? I hate to just leave him out there. I would worry about him.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Released Squirrel Biting

    Did you do a proper soft release?

    What has his diet been like?

    He certainly shouldn't be jumping on people. Or biting them. Sounds like he's confused or scared or both.

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    Rock Monkey (03-25-2021)

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    Default Re: Released Squirrel Biting

    I think you have a confused boy out there. He's 8 months old --- old for release, so I assume you overwintered him? He may regard the house and your whole property as his territory, and that's why he is being aggressive and asserting his dominance. How was he released? Nest box in outdoor release cage, or just nest box put outside for him? I agree that he cannot be where neighbors will harm him. Because he's jumping on strangers, you may have to soft-release him again somewhere else if that is the case, because it won't go well if he keeps doing that. Poor lil dude...
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    Default Re: Released Squirrel Biting

    Iíd definitely try moving the nest box further from the house to see if it helps.

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Released Squirrel Biting

    Quote Originally Posted by island rehabber View Post
    I think you have a confused boy out there. He's 8 months old --- old for release, so I assume you overwintered him? He may regard the house and your whole property as his territory, and that's why he is being aggressive and asserting his dominance. How was he released? Nest box in outdoor release cage, or just nest box put outside for him? I agree that he cannot be where neighbors will harm him. Because he's jumping on strangers, you may have to soft-release him again somewhere else if that is the case, because it won't go well if he keeps doing that. Poor lil dude...
    Yes, we wintered him. We put his cage with his nest box under the tree. We released him, but he didn't come back to the cage/box for three days. We took the box out of the cage and put it in the tree and he came back that night and doesn't stray too far from it all day.

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    Default Re: Released Squirrel Biting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1959 View Post
    Iíd definitely try moving the nest box further from the house to see if it helps.
    And disassociate yourself from food by leaving it when he's not around if possible. Once they begin wilding, the line between giving and taking food seems to blur as instinct kicks in.

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    island rehabber (03-25-2021)

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Released Squirrel Biting

    Quote Originally Posted by RockyPops View Post
    Did you do a proper soft release?

    What has his diet been like?

    He certainly shouldn't be jumping on people. Or biting them. Sounds like he's confused or scared or both.
    We put his cage with his nest box under the tree. We released him, but he didn't come back to the cage/box for three days. We took the box out of the cage and put it in the tree and he came back that night and doesn't stray too far from it all day.

    I was feeding him a Henry's Picky Eaters block and a pecan twice a day, along with leafy greens, carrot, or squash.

    I am wondering if he expects every human to have food for him?

    I was the only one that feed him and handled him, but when I would have him loose in the house during his play hour, if my husband or son walked by, he would jump on them. They loved it, but I was always worried about his non-fear of other humans.

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Released Squirrel Biting

    Quote Originally Posted by sundoesshine View Post
    And disassociate yourself from food by leaving it when he's not around if possible. Once they begin wilding, the line between giving and taking food seems to blur as instinct kicks in.
    Yes, I have started doing that just instinctively, but it makes sense that might be part of the problem. Humans = Food.

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    island rehabber (03-25-2021)

  13. #9
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    Default Re: Released Squirrel Biting

    Quote Originally Posted by BabyMama View Post
    Yes, we wintered him. We put his cage with his nest box under the tree. We released him, but he didn't come back to the cage/box for three days. We took the box out of the cage and put it in the tree and he came back that night and doesn't stray too far from it all day.
    In a typical slow release the squirrel is outside in a larger enclosure for a week or two before that cage is opened. This allows the squirrel to adjust to outdoors and all that is there that is so different from his prior indoor life. Correct me if I am wrong but it sounds like as soon as you put him outside, you opened his cage. They wild up during this time in the outside cage, becoming wary of all people. Sounds like an important step was skipped.

    Your neighbor are going to be understandably freaked out if he jumps on them. Their fear will make him afraid and likely leading to a fight or flight response from him. I hope he isn't biting deeply.

    I would expect that as time passed he will become more wary of people.

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