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Thread: Releasing a single red squirrel with a resident bully around

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Default Releasing a single red squirrel with a resident bully around

    I live in Northwestern Ontario Canada- The temperatures will be dropping soon, winter comes quickly here.
    I have a single red that was rescued at 5 weeks old (sibling passed away day after rescued from a head injury) he is now 16 weeks old. For the last week I have treated him for an infected toe with antibiotics. The toe nail has fallen off but the toe itself looks better and does not impair him at all. He has been outside in an insulated " squirrel shack" that is 8x8x8 it is attached to a 10x10x10 out door enclosure with and additional 8 x 8 x8 outdoor enclosure. He has a lot of room.
    Unfortunately, the resident squirrels have been climbing all over the out door enclosure- I think this is how he hurt his toe. Two days ago I opened the hatch to let him out and I sat on a chair to make sure he would be okay. He was going in and out of his enclosure and after 3 hours he ventured to the near by trees which is about 20 feet away. He was climbing up a tree and was 30 feet high when the "bully"resident went after him. He was tossed off the tree but landed on the bough of the tree. Then attempted to escape the bully. He ended up falling from 10 feet and landed on the ground - no injuries, thank goodness! I picked him up and brought him back into the enclosure. He hid for about an hour then came out and I did not let him our loose the rest of the day- i figured he had enough.
    Yesterday, he headed the other way and was gone for about an hour and then came home (being chased by the bully).
    Now today he only leaves the enclosure to run on the grass to grab an acorn that the other squirrels have tossed down. He was chased by the bully again. That being said he encountered a 3 year old grey they chased each other but then continued with their day. We have more resident squirrels around which he has heard chattering but they have not yet come to bully him. I don't know what to do tomorrow.
    Do I just let him run back and forth bringing the acorns back to his enclosure, with the possibility he may venture off ?
    It makes me sick that he's alone and is so much smaller than the bully. If I overwinter him he may never wild up.
    The "bully" I just figured out was my sweet red squirrel i had over wintered 2022.
    I would appreciate your suggestions/comments.
    Also, what do I do when I go back to work Monday. Do I keep him in the enclosure until I get home?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
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    Utah
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    Default Re: Releasing a single red squirrel with a resident bully around

    I donít have any experience with red squirrels. Hopefully others will see your thread and be able to provide some insight!

    How have things been going the last few days? Any changes?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Releasing a single red squirrel with a resident bully around

    Unfortunately reds can be real bullies. We have a female red at my job whom we call "Mama red who lives in the shed. ". She has taken over that shed and in the fall when she fills every corner she can find with black walnuts she is a menace to society -- you can't go near that shed!

    You may have to encourage the bully to move on to other feeding grounds by not putting food outside and keep your little guy enclosed for the time being. They can really hurt each other. 😔
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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Releasing a single red squirrel with a resident bully around

    Thank you for getting back to me.
    very much appreciated😊
    Itís been seven nights and he comes back to his Enclosure every night.
    He sticks very close to home.
    When i come home from work heís right there.
    He really just runs around and collects acorns and puts them back into his enclosure. I think thereís about 300 of them in there right now.

    Iím letting him do it on his terms, so if he wants to stay for the winter Iím OK with that.

    But yes, I agree weíre not feeding the resident squirrels right now hoping theyíll move along.
    Thank you again

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Releasing a single red squirrel with a resident bully around

    Red squirrel releases for this season, require that you build them a store of nuts. For just as they have in the wild from their mother, that shares her stash of nuts with them aka. a, 'midden' because their chances for surviving the winter are low. He doesn't have time enough to make a ground den, and being a single with no mother to share her tree den with him. Mother red squirrels most often will share their tree den with their young over the winter in regions of higher latitudes which conserves body heat. Why the middens are so large may be explained that Red squirrels give birth to many young, some litters a count of 9.

    No time for your squirrel to make a tree root den, which requires the excavation of tunnels. And though humans can provide top nest in material, they can't construct the actual den that is needed to protect the squirrels from predators.

    You can though continue to support a midden he is making in the release cage, (IF) you provide a full chain-link surround that is top to bottom to keep the larger predators out; while leaving a couple of escape holes so the squirrel can go in and out, with the main door only for your use.

    As we can see from the photos, ground middens are made at the base of trees, where sometimes the midden is placed as well; and if not near by. .
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  7. #6
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    Default Re: Releasing a single red squirrel with a resident bully around


  8. #7
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    Default Re: Releasing a single red squirrel with a resident bully around

    Any pics of your little red ?

    I'm still pondering whether to release this little red girl we overwintered, there are no others around here but dozens of black squirrels.

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