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Thread: My yard squirrels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
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    Default My yard squirrels

    Hello Squirrel Lovers

    I have a squirrel tribe, I have several regular squirrels that have been in my life for over 5 years.
    I feed them quality food, they know this is Mom's Safe Zone to eat each am, go on with their adventures.

    About 10 months ago, I was at my garbage bin, to see a " part" of a squirrel, set on top of a closed bin.
    At first I thought it was a rotting raw steak. I got closer, I screamed. It was a Squirrel's body.

    I swear it looked like someone put it on a meat slicer, that it was a slice, from head to toe, bones and all, about an inch wide.
    I could see in the slice, the squirrels gums, a tooth
    Yes, like a steak, or a agate rock slice. It was pure horror to think what this poor baby went through.

    DID a human do this? how could this happen. Fast forward, My visiting babies have not ever showed " illness" or visual severe injuries.

    For months now, I am seeing more and more squirrels suffering from huge gouges, lacerations, their tails completely stripped of all hair.
    Open bleeding wounds around their necks, spines, top of heads. It seems to be ongoing.

    I have at this point probably six squirrels, that their tails are nearly hairless. Squirrels who I've cared for for years.
    I am in a more country setting, however I am surrounded by small town business, a lot of road traffic.

    People have been buying up the 900 foot square 80 yr old homes, stripping all trees, all nature to put in monster houses.
    I know this has a cause and effect.

    I also live about 70 yards from a river bed. It's lined with huge tall trees, it's about 4 miles long.
    HAWK Country. My squirrels have their nests along the river bed, both sides, you can see their Condo's.

    How could hawks strip a squirrel's tail hair from spine to end, leaving no hair behind.
    the attacks to the back, hawks, big birds is a logical cause. Their wounds are deep, I am not seeing punctures.
    I am seeing fur completely striped off their backs, huge areas of fur right down to the flesh missing.

    Anyone seen this? is this a disease, disorder, do I have Squirrel Madman in my neighborhood torturing Squirrels.
    Any help, thoughts, suggestions are greatly appreciated. I pray everyday for them. That No other squirrels are effected.

    Last add, my regulars who are usually plucky, happy, running my yard, playing on their Maple tree, " home base"
    Seem traumatized, scared, unlike their normal selves.

    Thank you for all the support you offer the Furs and people who care.
    Chucka Mom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Thanked: 9623

    Default Re: My yard squirrels

    6 or 7 years ago, construction started on a smallish +55 active senior development a couple of blocks from my home. This, of course, meant ripping out and chewing up all of the trees in a chunk of the forest that also adjoins my property. The sound of the chainsaws and chippers went on for weeks.

    I feed a HUGE number of squirrels - my "forest" is a greenbelt that runs through three towns and goes unbroken save for roads crossing it for many miles. About the same time the ground work started I began to see a ridiculous number of squirrels with savaged tails. This was the reason I met Tank, a plucky girl I had a long term relationship with. She disappeared on a brutally far below zero night and now, years later, my heart still catches in my chest when I see a squirrel with a stubby tail.

    I never figured out exactly what it was, but other than the existing ones, I stopped seeing it after the clearing was done and the actual construction began. I don't know if they were getting their tails caught investigating the equipment when it wasn't in use because they can't STAND not to investigate everything in their environment, because I couldn't see a situation where the tree cutters, who can be a bloodthirsty lot (or the other side of the coin, rehabbers!) could possibly chase down and deliberately injure that many squirrels. I still don't know.

    The dirty secret is that it is woefully common for cutters to toss entire nests into the chipper rather than take the trouble to set it aside. I can't see a situation where a prey bird could do the damage you are describing, but I CAN see one picking up a carcass and accidentally dropping it. Like my situation, unless you actually see something happening, you can't know for sure.

    Do you have trees on your property where you could hang boxes for them? It sounds like they have a sudden shortage of housing and certainly any birds of prey in the area will take advantage of that.

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

    Diggie's Friend (03-26-2023)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    NE Beleriand
    Thanked: 765

    Default Re: My yard squirrels

    Quote Originally Posted by CritterMom View Post
    Do you have trees on your property where you could hang boxes for them? It sounds like they have a sudden shortage of housing and certainly any birds of prey in the area will take advantage of that.
    If you do not have trees, there are other options.

    I leave my release cages in place (embedded in hedge) with the doors open. The nest boxes are used not just by previous releases but also by wild squirrels.

    You can also put a nest box up on a metal post that backs up against greenery.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Thanked: 0

    Default Re: My yard squirrels

    Thank you so much for your reply. I have about 12 wild squirrels in my yard right now.
    3 are intact, the rest DO look like they've been through wood chippers.
    The tail fur missing, huge areas of fur gone, skin showing for months. No sign of blood, ooze, infections in any of them, exterior anyway.
    I asked my guy who has got his ears open, he is the mgr of our local feed store.
    Are people talking about the local squirrels, their health. If they're noticing squirrels " tore up"
    I have one tree, a huge Maple in my yard, it's Squirrel Central.

    He had an interesting response. He said, no, I haven't had those conversations.
    He continued, with all these hazardous waste events of late. I'm thinking about the Birds.
    He brought up, how many LOCAL hazardous events have we had?, that we are not aware of.
    Birds travel, it's Spring, Migration is happening. They obviously can spread disease, if they've
    been subjected to God knows what. I have no dead birds, my yard is filled with active songbirds,
    peanut stealing Blue Jays, and surely predator birds, I do not see.

    Adding, I have a Kitty. It adopted me. He/She I honestly can't tell, the pattern of it's fur, I can't figure
    out boy or girl. The kitty has been coming around for 10 months or so. I know this is NOT Feral cat.
    Possibly a year old, maybe a little older. I've been feeding the cat on the side of my building.
    Not daily, it's more supplemental than anything. Very Healthy viewing Cat. Sweet disposition.
    I found a Cat house over my fence, I believe this is her House's backyard. Either she isn't an indoor cat
    by choice, or they keep her outside. She truly wants love, food is secondary for her. Her need for me, is
    lots of loving, and I get her catnip toys to play with.

    She/he was at my door days ago, wanting loving. I couldn't go outside to give her/him attention.
    I felt horrible. I threw my back out, I am in repair mode, bending isn't an option.
    She/he looked Fine, as she always does.

    I saw her/him today, She/he LOOKS just like my Squirrels, her/his back fur is GONE.
    I saw her/him 2 days ago, sitting on my patio, I took pics. No injuries, no sign of stress.
    Huge patches of skin where the fur is missing. 3, 4 inches in patches. All on her/hind back side.
    Not face, not front, it is missing at her/his backside, sides/off set of the spine near it's tail base.
    What the heck is going on. I tried to get her/him to come to me, she/he went the opposite direction.
    Usually she/he bee lines to me, instantly rubbing it's head on my legs.

    IS the River water 40 yards from my building contaminated? did she/he get attacked by a Hawk, Predator bird?
    All the animals, birds utilize the river, it's the only common shared area I can think of.

    The weather, the sun, it's getting warmer, Sun is medicine, I am praying this whatever it is, ceases
    I am watching, the squirrels are constantly on the move, I don't want to distinguish each squirrel
    by what's missing, they have personalities, they don't seem to be in pain, some weight loss, minimal.
    My community is full of Karens, I am not ready to open that can of worms, You're not supposed to feed the Squirrels !
    I have been approached by one in my own yard, it got really ugly. No one was hurt, only verbally whip lashed.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Thanked: 0

    Default Re: My yard squirrels

    Adding, Kitty

    She/he has no sign of injury, no blood, it's her/his White Skin very visible where the hair is gone.
    She/he doesn't view as if she/he is in pain. More so staring at me, Noo, I don't want you to see me like this.
    She/he when turned to go the opposite direction, was Kitty trotting like normal.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    West Coast
    Thanked: 3410

    Default Re: My yard squirrels

    There is a significant concern with the use of most wire grid cages alone (this not heavy wire a different material) in areas where there are other wildlife that can access the cages. Providing a full chain-link surround top to bottom, large enough with a door which you to enter, yet for raccoons, birds of prey, coyotes, and badgers can't when the door is closed. Full chain-link surrounds are what is often use by raccoon rehabbers to keep them from escaping when their doors are opened to care and feed them.
    What keeps the raccoons in is the same keeps raccoons out of wire grid cages of tree squirrels.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
    Thanked: 346

    Default Re: My yard squirrels

    DF - I believe the thread starter is discussing the wilds in her backyard, and their poor condition. 🙂

  9. Serious fuzzy thank you's to Tashahaven from:

    Diggie's Friend (03-27-2023)

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Thanked: 2186

    Default Re: My yard squirrels

    Hi Chucka Mom!

    Your description of your wild friends is bizarre. I would love to see pics if possible. I had a weird thing with several of mine in . . . December? where they had a bald line, from about the top of the pelvic area, along the spine down to the base of the tail. Some had varying degrees of thinning hair or almost bald spots. I treated for mange (Ivermectin) and they cleared up. Right now there are some who are looking threadbare, and one whom I haven't seen in almost a month and had about written off who showed up yesterday, bald on most of her back. But I'm sure mine have or had mange.

    What you describe, with the wounds, is weird. I am wondering if they have mange in combination with whatever else is going on.

    The sliced squirrel on top of your trash can is unsettling, but could have a logical explanation, like it was roadkill and that "strip" was picked up by a crow or something, which happened to drop it there. Weird but not impossible.

    I am also sorry you have to put up with humans who can't MYOB. Those people all need to live with each other and leave the rest of us alone, but it never works out that way.
    "I hope everyone got or gets their Baby Love today"~Shewhosweptforest

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