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Thread: Advice needed...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2023
    Thanked: 2

    Default Advice needed...

    Back in June, Big Momma presented with leaning to one side and eventually it became clear that she was blind on her right side and she had some form of neurological damage.

    She was a vibrant normal squirrel before that point, she was a lot of fun to interact with. So its clear that something happened. At first I thought raccoon parasite, but she wouldn't have survived for a month with that. I'm thinking she probably fell and hit her head. She shows balance and unsteadiness issues as she feeds.

    She struggled at first but then she adapted. She angles her good eye above when eating to keep a look out for predators and seemingly, she adapted to her new reality. Whereas before she used her eyes in the search for food, now she is primarily reliant on her nose. Which means she can't be on the lookout for predators. And she's exhibiting circling behavior now.

    As the weather has turned inclement (as today in the midst of a tropical storm) she has struggled to get food. As much as I try to make it easy for her to get food from my patio, she has had to run a gauntlet of other squirrels who seek to intimidate and rob her of whatever nuts she manages to get from me.

    Today was particularly heartbreaking as she was too far away to get to her to protect her. She was attacked twice by the same squirrel. She didn't return. But I know from experience that Big Momma is resilient, and she'll eventually come back. However, winter is coming. If its hard to feed now, it gets worse when there's snow.

    I contribute to a rescue organization and in the past, they have agreed to take a squirrel if I captured it, although I've never actually succeeded in capturing a squirrel. They always get away as I'm not good at capturing. And if I try to capture, they never return which in turn, dooms them. If I'm a food source and they don't return then you know what happens...

    Although she has shown tremendous resiliency, she's not going to survive as the weather turns more severe. And two days ago, a Coopers Hawk was nearby terrorizing other squirrels (thankfully, they got away). I'd rather her life not end in terror.

    I have a Havaheart...she goes nowhere near it. She's smarter than that. She trusts me somewhat, but she won't come near if there's a strange object around.

    So here's what I need:

    Does anyone have an idea of how to capture a squirrel the doesn't involve a Havaheart?

    I'm sure I'll wind up keeping her for a day or two before I can bring her to the rescue organization. For whatever reason, they won't admit same day captures.

    How do I capture? Is there a template that can show me what to do and when, especially after capture? How to feed? Water? Debugging? Especially since they'll likely be in my garage until I can get the rescue organization to admit.

    Any help would be much appreciated...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2023
    Thanked: 27

    Default Re: Advice needed...

    The first question Iíd have is when they take her what happens?
    For me I have a havaheart that I got rid of the auto trigger and rigged it so I could just pull a string that was tied to a pin that releases the door. I load it up with nuts and wait. Even the more cautious ones will come in within a day or two. You can use it as a feeder for a few days while they warm up to it. Raccoon sized ones are what I like the best, they seem to enter the larger space easier and there is less risk of tail damage due to the extra length. Sorry this method involves a trap but it has worked well for me.
    For me I had a cage setup ahead with a nest box I built that had a removable top and a door that I could close over the entry hole. I put a small dish of water and a dish of nuts, sunflower seeds and avocado slices in the cage before hand. For longer care there would be other diet requirements. When caught I released from the trap into the cage. When itís time to transport, when you come out to the cage she most likely will hide in the nest box, which then you can open the cage and close the door on the nest box, then take the box and the precious cargo with. Donít forget air holes and bedding in the nest box.
    Iím sure it sounds like a lot to come up with and maybe it is. In my case I knew I needed to house for a while and the nest box setup was how I would eventually carry out for release.

    Again, you may want to be sure of what her outcome will be if she canít be released.

    I wish the best for you and your friend

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