Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Found 2 orphaned squirrels - need advice on when to send to wildlife refuge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Destin, Florida
    Posts
    5
    Thanked: 2

    Question Found 2 orphaned squirrels - need advice on when to send to wildlife refuge

    Found 2 squirrels in our yard 6 days ago, right as Tropical Storm Fred was about to hit our area. There was nowhere to take them so I did a ton of research and began to provide care (warm, rehydrate, feeding, etc) until storm passed and businesses opened back up.

    They are eastern gray squirrels and they just opened their eyes yesterday.

    I am comfortable feeding them formula and taking care of them now. I am also comfortable providing them with HHBs soon.

    However, I do not feel I am equipped to do their full rehab and release from my home, as much as I would love to do this. I found a Wildlife Refuge facility an hour from my home who can take them.

    I guess I just need some advice on when to hand them over to the refuge center. I am very attached to them now and feel they are just little babies. I know the facility will do a good job but I just don't want to traumatize them with another big adjustment so soon after losing their mama and coming into our home.

    I appreciate any advice - this is my first time taking care of baby squirrels. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    17,304
    Thanked: 12240

    Default Re: Found 2 orphaned squirrels - need advice on when to send to wildlife refuge

    Quote Originally Posted by New_Squirrel_Mom View Post
    Found 2 squirrels in our yard 6 days ago, right as Tropical Storm Fred was about to hit our area. There was nowhere to take them so I did a ton of research and began to provide care (warm, rehydrate, feeding, etc) until storm passed and businesses opened back up.

    They are eastern gray squirrels and they just opened their eyes yesterday.

    I am comfortable feeding them formula and taking care of them now. I am also comfortable providing them with HHBs soon.

    However, I do not feel I am equipped to do their full rehab and release from my home, as much as I would love to do this. I found a Wildlife Refuge facility an hour from my home who can take them.

    I guess I just need some advice on when to hand them over to the refuge center. I am very attached to them now and feel they are just little babies. I know the facility will do a good job but I just don't want to traumatize them with another big adjustment so soon after losing their mama and coming into our home.

    I appreciate any advice - this is my first time taking care of baby squirrels. Thank you in advance.
    Eyes normally open at 5 weeks old.
    Do you know their weights? Babies should be fed between 5-7% of their body weight.
    What formula are you feeding?

    We do have many members in the Florida area, if you can name the center you are considering hopefully our Florida members can advise if they would be good to take to or not. Unfortunately, many facilities euthanize babies that have been held/ raised by the public in accordance to their license and the wildlife laws in their State. Locating a private Rehabilatator who could place her with others may be more ideal then placing in a facility.

    You have passed some of the stages, however being a new caretaker you may find the link below on baby squirrel care to be most helpful.
    It's 6 pages long with the next button on the top right corner.

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-basic-setup/
    Step-N-Stone
    State Licensed
    Wildlife Master Rehabilitator


  3. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to stepnstone:

    KCullen (08-26-2021), New_Squirrel_Mom (08-20-2021)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Destin, Florida
    Posts
    5
    Thanked: 2

    Default Re: Found 2 orphaned squirrels - need advice on when to send to wildlife refuge

    Thank you for your reply and for the link. I have been using Henry's Squirrel Care Guide for everything I am doing and it does appear the squirrels are thriving. I am following Henry's formula for Esbilac formula with heavy whipping cream. I don't have a scale to weigh them but am following the guidelines for feeding and monitoring hydration status, urine output and stools (I am a physician so feel very comfortable in my assessment).

    The facility I called is the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. I, of course, would not want these squirrels to be euthanized, so if there are better options, please let me know. I only want what's best for them to live the best life they can with the cards they were dealt.

  5. Serious fuzzy thank you's to New_Squirrel_Mom from:

    stepnstone (08-20-2021)

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,236
    Thanked: 708

    Default Re: Found 2 orphaned squirrels - need advice on when to send to wildlife refuge

    Quote Originally Posted by New_Squirrel_Mom View Post
    I don't have a scale to weigh them but am following the guidelines for feeding and monitoring hydration status, urine output and stools (I am a physician so feel very comfortable in my assessment).
    Well, taking care of a squirrels is a very special experience, an experience you will never forgot. They have amazing empathy and can be very affectionate. They are lucky to have found you. Thanks for taking care of them.

    You can get a simple digital food scale at a lot of retailers. You can generally get one for less than $20. This allows you give each exactly the right amount of formula, properly proportional to the size of each stomach. Sometimes one sibling will gain weight much more quickly than another.

  7. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Rock Monkey from:

    New_Squirrel_Mom (08-20-2021)

  8. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Destin, Florida
    Posts
    5
    Thanked: 2

    Default Re: Found 2 orphaned squirrels - need advice on when to send to wildlife refuge

    Quote Originally Posted by stepnstone View Post

    We do have many members in the Florida area, if you can name the center you are considering hopefully our Florida members can advise if they would be good to take to or not. Unfortunately, many facilities euthanize babies that have been held/ raised by the public in accordance to their license and the wildlife laws in their State. Locating a private Rehabilatator who could place her with others may be more ideal then placing in a facility.

    https://www.henryspets.com/1-basic-setup/
    I contacted the wildlife refuge. They will take the squirrels and continue with their rehab. But they did say if they cannot successfully release them, they will euthanize them. I cannot find a private rehabilatator in my area and I cannot get the link to work in the “Locate a Rehabber” forum. Any ideas on where else I can look? I live in Destin, Florida.

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Destin, Florida
    Posts
    5
    Thanked: 2

    Default UPDATE: Found 2 orphaned squirrels - need advice on when to send to wildlife refuge

    Update: We took the squirrels to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. They were found to be doing great so the plan was for release at around 12 weeks of age. When I called to check up on their status, I was informed that they released the squirrels on Sunday, September 12th. The squirrels were only 8 weeks old. They also released them right as Hurricane Nicholas effects were reaching our area (and continue to cause heavy rains and flooding throughout the whole week).

    I am worried the squirrels were released too young and right before heavy rains and am praying they are okay. When I asked why they were released so early, the lady there told me they just have too many squirrels right now and needed to make room. They assured me the squirrels were ready but everything I've read said release should occur around 10 to 12 weeks of age at the earliest. Looking for reassurance from those of you who have more experience. I am devastated and heartbroken.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    11,350
    Thanked: 12575

    Default Re: Found 2 orphaned squirrels - need advice on when to send to wildlife refuge

    That was way too young. We release at 16 weeks. I hope they can survive but they will struggle. The positive thing it that the trees have acorns so maybe they will find enough to eat. We are many months away from cold weather so they have time to grow up before winter. Goodness, we don’t even let them wean at 8 weeks.

    Mother squirrels will usually leave them around 12 weeks but they have the advantage of being raised by their own mother.
    We give them extra time because we are a poor substitute for their mom and want to give them that added time to grow stronger and wiser.

  11. 2 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to HRT4SQRLS:

    stepnstone (09-17-2021), sundoesshine (09-17-2021)

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Destin, Florida
    Posts
    5
    Thanked: 2

    Default Re: Found 2 orphaned squirrels - need advice on when to send to wildlife refuge

    Thank you for answering my questions and unfortunately confirming my fears. How is this appropriate responsible care? Aren't these places required to follow standard protocols and procedures? They are supposed to be helping wildlife, not hurting them. I will NEVER take another animal to them for care.

  13. Serious fuzzy thank you's to New_Squirrel_Mom from:

    sundoesshine (09-17-2021)

  14. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    11,350
    Thanked: 12575

    Default Re: Found 2 orphaned squirrels - need advice on when to send to wildlife refuge

    Quote Originally Posted by New_Squirrel_Mom View Post
    Thank you for answering my questions and unfortunately confirming my fears. How is this appropriate responsible care? Aren't these places required to follow standard protocols and procedures? They are supposed to be helping wildlife, not hurting them. I will NEVER take another animal to them for care.
    I know. It’s the Wild West out there when it comes to wildlife centers. Apparently they make their own rules. Actually this isn’t the worst case I’ve heard about. Some will take them, deem them non releasable and euthanize them. I never recommend centers unless I am very familiar with their practices.

    Unfortunately, some are excellent and others are worthless and there are few ways to know the difference.

    The only positive thing is that they usually release on property that they control or the property of volunteers. Hopefully, if they really care like you would think, they should feed the new releases for a period of time during transition to the wild. No responsible rehabber would just take them to the woods and shoo them away. That’s not how it is done.

  15. Serious fuzzy thank you's to HRT4SQRLS from:

    sundoesshine (09-17-2021)

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •