Hello, as helpful as this forum has been in the process of raising the pinky we found 3 or so months ago...it almost seems like we were not prepared for the gut punch we have been feeling all weekend. Friday morning was the last time we saw her, I immediately told the wife that the fact that she hadn't returned yet this evening is concerning but she brushed it off like it was no big deal. Several days went by and she has still not returned to her nesting box. She gets pecans, walnuts, squash, and sweet potato in a bowl everyday on the ledge of her house so it would surprise me that she would just run off to "greener pastures".

Several weeks back we had heard an owl off in the distance. Just this Sunday evening I saw an Owl leave one of the neighboring trees. I went back out a little later and the Owl was back in the tree but then perched on a goal post ~80ft away. I went out with a flashlight to try and scare it off but it was unphased. It wasn't until I got right under it that it flew off to a higher spot ~200-250 yds away. I went over to it to scare it off further which eventually did work.

My concern is we are still seeing the wild squirrels that have been occasionally eating her food. In fact I saw 2 of them today chasing eachother around one of the big trees. This is a problem because it seems like our sweet squirrel is gone and not by her own decision. What frustrates me the most and might be a unpopular perspective, but it is that the wild squirrels are still alive and she is gone. How is it that they were better prepared for this over our healthy squirrel? How is it that our healthy squirrel has a whole box to live in and stay safe is the one that gets taken?

She seemed very skittish of fast movements and the sound of blue jays. It seemed like her instincts were right but not enough to protect her. We are absolutely heartbroken at what we can only assume is the inevitable fact that our sweet squirrel was taken by an owl mercilessly. At the end of the day she was a wild animal and we should have respected that by keeping separation but it's so hard. You wake up every 3 hours of the day to feed her from the moment you find her to the moment she is opening her eyes and stumbling all over you. You cancel plans or make sure to be home on time to be there to feed her. You spend time trying to get her to go to the bathroom or worry that she is pooping too much or not enough.

You do everything you can to ensure her success only for it to be crushed by nature. I didn't want to get attached, but it was inevitable. I don't know how we could possibly do this again knowing that all we did was raise a snack for an owl. She truly was loved and cared for.

I want to close with, this board was incredibly helpful on providing guidance for what to expect and what to do/not do. I hope this board continues to provide guidance to those who need it when coming across a baby squirrel. I just hope they never have to feel the heartache we have this weekend.