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Thread: Advise on Releasing a Recent Singleton (her sister passed away)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Thanked: 1

    Default Advise on Releasing a Recent Singleton (her sister passed away)

    Hi there,

    We now have a singleton - her sister passed away tragically, explained here -

    I've been reading this forum since she passed and unfortunately realized we've broken a couple of cardinal rules in rehabbing. Namely, our singleton Rosie has interacted with our dog (not regularly, but she doesn't fear her). Additionally, we've let Rosie climb on us regularly - she recently jumped on our neighbour, who is a sweet older man who brought her back safely. Rosie is approximately 14 weeks old and in good health, she's not aggressive but doesn't like to be handled/held much, despite liking crawling all over us.

    Here's what I'd like to know -

    Barring time-travel, how we can re-adjust Rosie to stay away from dogs and people? Is it even possible? What can be done?

    Now that her sister passed and she is a singleton - what do we do? Will she be lonely?

    Rosie is adventurous - she goes out often during the day to a row of trees behind our home. There was an existing squirrel nest there which we've seen her in numerous times, even adding green leaves to it etc, but she always comes back. There are definitely squirrels in our area, though we've noticed less of them lately. It's not easy to monitor her exterior interactions for me so I don't know if she's socializing with other squirrels etc.

    We leave her cage open to come and go as she pleases and feed her fruits & nuts in the morning & evening. While we're not total novices to squirrels altogether, we could definitely use some advice on the rehab process. We're not opposed to finding her a better situation with a more experienced rehabber if that's the best course of action either - though we'd ideally like to improve our knowledge and experience so we can continue rehabbing these amazing creatures.

    Any advice would be great appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Thanked: 1505

    Default Re: Advise on Releasing a Recent Singleton (her sister passed away)

    Hi! Hoping those with more experience will weigh in, but here's a few of my thoughts. First, is she completely done with formula? I know that's the end goal, but if they'll still take even one feeding a day you know they're getting the nutrition. Being out and about foraging on her own and getting treats from you morning and evening means it's a big guess as to whether she's getting enough of the right things. Have you had a look at the food pyramid for squirrels? That would give you an idea of what to feed her. Can you get any of the rodent blocks there? Was block her first solid food? If it wasn't, then it will be very difficult to get her to eat them now, especially since she expects nuts from you now. BUT, if you can get the Picky Eater or one of the other ones from Henry's Healthy Pets (online), she may eat those and then you will know she's getting at least that. (Really hoping the people who use them and order from Henry's will see this and chime in.)

    I'm curious about the neighbor. When he brought her back, did she just ride on his shoulder? Did she let him hold her? How did he bring her back?

    I don't know how to get her to fear people, unless you have a great neighborhood and you can get everyone on board with trying to spook her if she gets too close. (Clapping hands, exaggerated movements like waving arms?) No hitting or anything like that obviously, maybe just once she lands on them "make like a tree" and hopefully she'd lose interest and not bother with them once she learns no treats are forthcoming. Maybe she'll figure out that you are the only humans worth approaching. I am personally haunted by the possibility that my baby got too uppity with the wrong person and they thought she was rabid or God knows what and killed her, since she jumped on one of my brothers only a month before she disappeared forever(?). I had thought she was done jumping on anyone but me, but since she did it to him after many months, I will always wonder how she may have interacted with neighbors. Sorry, that's a bit long, but that was my experience.

    As for the dog, I have noticed that my wilds don't transfer cat=safe/okay. My cat used to kill many animals in her youth, but now is getting old and is more interested in just watching. The squirrels know this about her, but when they see a different cat around they send up the alarm. They still alarm at her if she is in a "wrong" area, like walking through the brush along the perimeter of the place. That is suspicious behavior to them and needs to be warned of. So will your squirrel take each dog as it comes, and assess the danger of each, or assume they're all like yours? One hopes she sees each as a new animal to be wary of. That sort of thing is where having other wilds around can help fill the gaps and teach her what to fear. If she can hear them alarm and see their fear reactions, it would hopefully trigger her own instincts of self preservation. I observed that my baby knew her language at 5-6 weeks, since at that age she hid when she heard a squirrel alarm. So if your squirrel gets to hear and observe others, it will hopefully teach her what she needs to know.

    Please keep us posted. We are all rooting for her and you!
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

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

    Tuff (06-18-2021)

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