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Thread: Is Bruce Felipe ready for release?

  1. #1
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    Question Is Bruce Felipe ready for release?

    Hello everyone,

    I am writingto you because I rescued a gray squirrel on August 4th and he was a smol boy but had his eyes open (5 weeks maybe). My dog found him in a bush (he didn't do anything to the little guy) but he was very dehydrated so we kept him warm inside a box and gave him unflavored pedyalite for almost 2 days. We came here to research about care and got puppy milk for him until fox valley was back in stock. He later got aspiration pneuomonia which we treated with amoxicillin and keeping him hydrated because of the diarheaa as well as taking care of his gut health. He wasn't gaining much weight even though he was eating and a bit active, we really thought he wasn't going to make it at first because he was so sick but he did! A brave little guy.

    Bruce Felipe Dinguson (that's the name, in honor of Bruce Dickinson) is doing great now and we think he is weaning since he is no longer drinking the usual amount of milk but we are still feeding him milk mostly at night (around 9cc or 7cc depending on his mood) which is when he doesn't reject it and through out the day we feed him broccoli, cauliflower, two nuts, two fruits (a combo of raspberries) as well as 3 henry's healthy blocks (how much of everything should we be feeding him). As of today (09/12/23) he weights 195 grams and keeps gainnig weight every day.

    We know his time to be released is coming soon (this weekend perharps?) but we are not sure if he is ready yet. We live in a city's downtown (we live in FL) and we have read in here about releasing at the location you find them or as close as possible but it's a downtown, we were thinking at my sister's complex since she lives in the suburbs and there are giant trees and green spaces in her apartment complex so maybe she could keep an eye on him for a bit after releasing him? I know we can't mark him with anything bright to protect him from pedators but maybe som sharpie on his tummy could work?

    We greately appreciate your time and all your inputs on this, I am attaching some pictures so you can see him and have better understanding and maybe give us a more informed opinion. Thank you in advance!

    When I found him:



    And these were today:
    https://i.postimg.cc/0NWwhZqF/PXL-20...-151216908.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is Bruce Felipe ready for release?

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceFelipeDinguson View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am writingto you because I rescued a gray squirrel on August 4th and he was a smol boy but had his eyes open (5 weeks maybe). My dog found him in a bush (he didn't do anything to the little guy) but he was very dehydrated so we kept him warm inside a box and gave him unflavored pedyalite for almost 2 days. We came here to research about care and got puppy milk for him until fox valley was back in stock. He later got aspiration pneuomonia which we treated with amoxicillin and keeping him hydrated because of the diarheaa as well as taking care of his gut health. He wasn't gaining much weight even though he was eating and a bit active, we really thought he wasn't going to make it at first because he was so sick but he did! A brave little guy.

    Bruce Felipe Dinguson (that's the name, in honor of Bruce Dickinson) is doing great now and we think he is weaning since he is no longer drinking the usual amount of milk but we are still feeding him milk mostly at night (around 9cc or 7cc depending on his mood) which is when he doesn't reject it and through out the day we feed him broccoli, cauliflower, two nuts, two fruits (a combo of raspberries) as well as 3 henry's healthy blocks (how much of everything should we be feeding him). As of today (09/12/23) he weights 195 grams and keeps gainnig weight every day.

    We know his time to be released is coming soon (this weekend perharps?) but we are not sure if he is ready yet. We live in a city's downtown (we live in FL) and we have read in here about releasing at the location you find them or as close as possible but it's a downtown, we were thinking at my sister's complex since she lives in the suburbs and there are giant trees and green spaces in her apartment complex so maybe she could keep an eye on him for a bit after releasing him? I know we can't mark him with anything bright to protect him from pedators but maybe som sharpie on his tummy could work?

    We greately appreciate your time and all your inputs on this, I am attaching some pictures so you can see him and have better understanding and maybe give us a more informed opinion. Thank you in advance!
    Hello BruceFelipeDinguson and thank you for finding The Squirrel Board! I apologize for you not yet receiving a response to your post and my response will bump your thread back into view and hopefully others will post their comments.

    First of all, if you simply let Bruce Felipe loose this weekend or at any time (this is called a Hard Release), it will most likely result in his extreme fear and inability to protect himself and function as a wild Squirrel and will in probably short order result in his agonizing death by one of the multitude of potential predators waiting to take advantage of a vulnerable Squirrel! I am NOT trying to be dramatic, this is the sad truth! Squirrels are not ready for release until they are weaned and have reached 16 weeks, thereabout AND have gone through the Soft Release Process!

    Squirrels must have what is called a Soft-Release! That is where they are placed in a special cage outside with protections and food and this will facilitate your Squirrel's natural instincts to become activated and he will in a real sense "wild up!". Please do NOT release him this weekend or release him at all until he has gone through the Soft-Release process which at a minimum can take 2 weeks but this is often weeks longer!

    Here is a link to a thread on The Squirrel Board devoted to comments and suggestion pertaining to a Soft Release: https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...hlight=release

    Please keep Bruce Filipe with you and learn about the Soft Release Process and plan on that sometime in the future!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is Bruce Felipe ready for release?

    Quote Originally Posted by SamtheSquirrel2018 View Post
    Hello BruceFelipeDinguson and thank you for finding The Squirrel Board! I apologize for you not yet receiving a response to your post and my response will bump your thread back into view and hopefully others will post their comments.

    First of all, if you simply let Bruce Felipe loose this weekend or at any time (this is called a Hard Release), it will most likely result in his extreme fear and inability to protect himself and function as a wild Squirrel and will in probably short order result in his agonizing death by one of the multitude of potential predators waiting to take advantage of a vulnerable Squirrel! I am NOT trying to be dramatic, this is the sad truth! Squirrels are not ready for release until they are weaned and have reached 16 weeks, thereabout AND have gone through the Soft Release Process!

    Squirrels must have what is called a Soft-Release! That is where they are placed in a special cage outside with protections and food and this will facilitate your Squirrel's natural instincts to become activated and he will in a real sense "wild up!". Please do NOT release him this weekend or release him at all until he has gone through the Soft-Release process which at a minimum can take 2 weeks but this is often weeks longer!

    Here is a link to a thread on The Squirrel Board devoted to comments and suggestion pertaining to a Soft Release: https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...hlight=release

    Please keep Bruce Filipe with you and learn about the Soft Release Process and plan on that sometime in the future!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel
    Sorry for my late reply, I didn't get any notifications on my end.
    I understand your concerns 100%. We have been putting him out on our balcony inside the cage starting for an hour or so in the morning and also after the sun goes down and even at night (we live in FL and the head is absurd), looking at the soft release post, should we then keep him in the balcony all day until his release?. We have kept feeding him Fox Valley but now we have already come to a point where he no longer wants any milk, we are lucky if he takes 3cc in one sitting but he still eats some apples, nuts, broccoli, etc also he stays hydrated on his own.

    Thank you for taking your time in responding

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is Bruce Felipe ready for release?

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceFelipeDinguson View Post
    Sorry for my late reply, I didn't get any notifications on my end.
    I understand your concerns 100%. We have been putting him out on our balcony inside the cage starting for an hour or so in the morning and also after the sun goes down and even at night (we live in FL and the head is absurd), looking at the soft release post, should we then keep him in the balcony all day until his release?. We have kept feeding him Fox Valley but now we have already come to a point where he no longer wants any milk, we are lucky if he takes 3cc in one sitting but he still eats some apples, nuts, broccoli, etc also he stays hydrated on his own.

    Thank you for taking your time in responding
    Hello again BruceFelipeDiguson:
    I have been at work most of the past several days and apologize for my limited time on TSB. I have a couple more concerns from what you have written!

    For one thing, it appears that your Squirrel is only about 11 weeks of age! You found him on August 4th and estimated his age at 5 weeks. Another month to September 4th is 9 weeks and two more weeks have past since then so a total of 11 weeks. This is ordinarily way to early to think actually start the soft-release process which usually begins around the 16th week!

    Concern number two: Weaning is the process of transitioning from formula to an appropriate healthy diet and it is not an abrupt decision on the Squirrel-parent's part but a decision that the Squirrel in "steps and jerks" makes himself and there will be times when he simply does not want formula and the next day or several days later, he may go back to drinking formula on a somewhat regular basis. This again, should be controlled by the Squirrel and formula should be offered on a regular basis for at least one week beyond the time it appears he is done with it!

    As part of the weaning process, and actually as soon as the Squirrels eye are open, he should be offered quality Rodent Blocks such as Henry's Blocks, Envigo 2018 Blocks or Mazuri Rat and Mouse Diet. The Mazuri preparation has the advantage of being available at a number of the pet stores such as PetSmart or the like.

    The diet of fruit and nuts is NOT a healthy diet and can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease. The nuts and fruits are treats that can be given rarely after consumption of Blocks. Here is the link to Henry's Heathy Diet Pyramid: https://henryspets.com/healthy-diet-for-pet-squirrels/

    Concern number three: you wrote that Bruce Filipe "stays hydrated on his own." How does he do that? Do you have a safe, functional water bottle set up that contains clean fresh water which is changed daily and the functioning of the bottle is also checked at least daily?

    Concern number four: You mentioned that BFD is outside in his cage which is apparently not a specifically designed release cage and is located on a balcony! Just for clarification, is this balcony off the ground level and how high is it. Does BFD get shade which is extremely important and heat exhaustion and even heat stroke can develop in short order!

    The purpose of a Release Cage (RC) is to provide a safe environment for your Squirrel to connect with his instincts as a wild animal. The RC cannot be on a balcony as a Squirrel can NOT be released on or from a balcony! The RC must be in the area in which you are going to facilitate the release and it must be safe, and have a small safe door high up on the RC where the Squirrel will exit and also renter the RC and invariably, they return at night for safety and food and may do that for weeks or even months sometimes!

    Concern and suggestion number five: It appears that you live in Florida! I would like to strongly suggest that you consider letting a Squirrel Friendly Rehabber take over care of Bruce Filipe from now through the release process as they have the necessary experience and facilities to make this a successful endeavor! Florida is a Squirrel friendly State and there are many Rehabbers in this State who take care of and even specialize in Squirrels. Many of our Squirrel Board Members also live in Florida and I am sure that they can provide some suggestions for Rehabbers that you could transfer care of Bruce Filipe to in order to optimally accomplish the soft-release process! I know you love this Squirrel but I feel very strongly that his release should be done by an experience Squirrel Rehabber.

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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