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  1. #1
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    Smile help with possible release of 9 month old squirrel

    In September, we had a baby squirrel wobble up to us in our driveway and wouldn't leave us. We brought him in and fed him and he has been with us ever since. We were hoping to get him big enough to be able to survive outside. Since September he has been with us on many cross country trips and is like a small dog. I don't know if he would even want to go outside to live. He has free roaming of the house and responds to the word "no". We just don't want to be completely tied down at this time in our lives but if he doesn't want to live outdoors then that will be fine as well. I am afraid to let him outdoors with the fear of him not coming back and it not being time for him. I just need some guidance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: help with possible release of 9 month old squirrel

    Heís not too old to be releasedÖ.whether he wants to go is another story. Some squirrels choose to live inside, but there are far more that instinctually know they are suppose to live in the trees. Hereís the link for the soft release process. Itís the way we recommend all squirrels be released.

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...-How-to-Sticky

    And hereís a link to building a release cage. https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...r-release-cage

    You donít want to release until the temperature is warmer and thereís foliage on the trees. You should also plan to continue feeding for a time once released.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: help with possible release of 9 month old squirrel

    Thank you for your help. He runs a certain path through the house multiple times a day and I don't want him to be bored and not have a full life

  4. #4
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    Default Re: help with possible release of 9 month old squirrel

    Hello littledude,

    What a sweet story of meeting your squirrel friend. It sounds like this might be the first time you have befriended a squirrel, and so you are asking for thoughts and advice.

    This is what I can offer from the little experience I have had. Each squirrel is totally different; but many of them seem to follow this path of development. First they are really sweet and cute, they are babies, and need a human to survive if they have lost their mom. They integrate really well into a human household as you have seen. But later one of two things happen. 1. They begin to naturally want the freedom of the trees that they were born for when their hormones start to kick in, anywhere from 9 months to a year, roughly. And they begin to start being rougher with their human caretakers, biting etc. This is a sign to release them to be wild. 2. Sometimes, they just really don't want the wild life, they are comfortable with a domesticated experience. This is more rare in my opinion, but it does happen. People usually find this out by trying to honestly release the squirrel, and it keep coming back.

    It sounds like you truly want to do what is best for the squirrel. IE By not releasing it too early, or by it having a boring life pacing endlessly. As times goes on, it will most likely become very apparent what is best for the squirrel if you will watch its behavioral development change.

    The info Mel offered on doing a soft release is what you would need should your squirrel friend show you it's ready to live its own life.

    One thing that can happen too, is that when a squirrel is soft released into the backyard of its caretaker, they often stick around as a wild friend and you can have the best of both worlds, a squirrel who is living free, and yet, has some contact with you.

    My experience has been good in this regard, but it is not for the faint of heart..... Some squirrels that I release will not ever let me touch them again, but they would happily sit on my shoulder. Others came for almost 2 years for sweet rubs on their terms. I had to learn a new set of "wild boundaries". A wild squirrel is not a pet, and won't act like a cat or dog, except when they want to. So I got bit rather aggressively trying to keep a relationship that once was.... the same, while in my squirrels mind it was changing. But I wised up fast, because I am very sensitive to animals and desired the best for all concerned, I learned how to have this new wild friendship and then had an amazing relationship with this one.

    But the other issue that crops up, is that having an amazing relationship with a wild, you soon realize that they are out in nature and subject to all sorts of unknowns. And the human then has to live with the fact from day to day, will their friend be there tomorrow? That has not been easy for me. I'm still learning how to deal with when they go missing, or I find them (dead). It's not happy.

    But since I've gone down this long ramble, I will leave it with; I have decided that having any kind of relationship with a wild animal is so wonderful, that I will figure out how to handle my grief when it ends. Otherwise, I would have to just leave this concept and go do something else. But I appreciate the gift in the friendship and I will learn in time how to do "wild-relationships".

    I hope that helps, best to you and your squirrel baby friend.

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    Default Re: help with possible release of 2 year old squirrel

    I am thinking about taking my almost 2 yr old to a wildlife rehab facility but I donít know if he is too old now?

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    Default Re: help with possible release of 2 year old squirrel

    Quote Originally Posted by littledude View Post
    I am thinking about taking my almost 2 yr old to a wildlife rehab facility but I don’t know if he is too old now?
    Hi LittleDude:
    I'm sorry that your new post has gone unanswered! I hope that you are still with us and have not yet made a decision! Just for any future issues, my suggestion for better exposure would be to utilize the "Non Life Threatening Help Needed Forum for most issues or the Emergency (Life Threatening) Help Needed for obviously emergent concerns or those those issues that may be seen to possibly be headed in that direction.

    Getting back to your question about whether or not a 2 y/o Squirrel is too old for release; the simple answer is, 'definitely Not, BUT' (there are several "buts") to mention a few concerns; 1) the release process may be at least somewhat prolonged, 2) the Squirrel may not really want to be a wild Squirrel and feels more comfortable back in the house (a "failed" soft-release), and 3) just like all "raised from a baby" Squirrels, your Squirrel MUST be "Soft Released!" No "raised" Squirrel should ever be Hard Released (this is where they are are simply put outside in the wild world)! The will invoke extreme fear in the Squirrel and invariably will result in in the Squirrel's meeting one of nature's usual horrendous endings! The Soft Release process is necessary to ensure that the Squirrel is essentially able to "wild-up" before any attempt at letting him taste the wild is ever offered! Squirrels are obviously wildlife and every "raised" baby Squirrel has within them, the instincts of a wild Squirrel but these instincts are usually not "activated" and are more a potential than they are actually present and the time spent in the Release Cage in conjunction with a properly conducted Soft Release "program" will result in most cases with a wild Squirrel with all of his protective, behavioral and functional instincts intact and ready for use before any opportunity for release is offered!

    Now for my Rehab Facility comments; not all Rehab facilities or Rehabbers are the same and not all of them are familiar with Squirrels or surprisingly, may not be particularly Squirrel Friendly. Some facilities (especially very busy facilities), may not be interested in or able take the potentially extra time that could be needed to soft-release a two y/o Squirrel or may not want to consider alternatives to a possibly "failed" soft-release and will simply euthanize an older Squirrel or possibly even do a hard release, which would also be a death sentence but accompanied by intense fear and most likely an agony filled ending added to the mix!

    IF you are going to consider a Wildlife Refuge or Rehab Facility, PLEASE do diligent research about the facility and ask all of the questions! In addition, please post the name of the facility here on TSB so that anyone with any familiarity with the facility could offer their comments and recommendations!

    Squirrels who are truly wild and come out of the wild to a facility for treatment of an injury or possibly an illness or poisoning, can usually be released back to their original home locations without any form of soft-release. This is my primary focus within the world of Rehabbing and even with previously "very wild" Squirrels, I frequently put these wild Squirrels who have recovered from incidents and accidents sustained in the wild in what I would term an "abbreviated soft release." This may be more for me than fort them but it seems beneficial. Again, the Sort Release is a NECESSITY, if your Squirrel is to successfully become a wild Squirrel!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

  7. Serious fuzzy thank you's to SamtheSquirrel2018 from:

    supersquirrelgirl (05-04-2024)

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