Baby Squirrel Rescue – First Aid for Orphaned Wildlife

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Young squirrels that have lost or injured their mother need help quickly. In order to save wild animals, correct first aid is essential.

BERLIN – Stormy weather, felling trees or birds: There are many dangers lurking in nature for squirrels. Their nests are particularly delicate and can be easily destroyed and even fallen. It is not uncommon for young animals to lie helpless or injured on the ground. Proper care is key to saving young squirrels. But there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to first aid.

Baby Squirrel First Aid – Save Orphaned Wildlife

If you find a baby squirrel on the ground, you must first make sure that it needs help. Because not every little animal has to be accommodated. In the case of uninfected animals, there is a chance that the mother will return. “Often a mother squirrel looks for her offspring and takes them to another cage,” explains biologist Ursula Bauer, who works at the association “aktion tier eV” in Berlin. Because wild animals usually build several nests at the same time.

The temporary replacement nest helps to bridge the waiting time. This can be formed into a circle with little effort from a piece of cloth or a towel – if possible in the place where the squirrel was found. In cold weather, a well-heated hot water bottle provides vital heat from below. It may take a few hours before the mother dares to approach her again. During this time, it is important to monitor the alternate nest to protect the young from other animals such as cats or birds.

When raising young squirrels, they are cute, warm and cuddly. (Icon picture)

© Boris Roessler / dpa

Baby squirrel first aid – properly care for small animals at home

If the mother does not return her little animal, the squirrel needs help. Even offspring that are infected or very hot have no chance of surviving without proper care. Committed lay people can also provide first aid at home, as many rescue centers are exhausted and will appreciate the support. With professional guidance, squirrel care is usually easy to manage. The Animal Protection Association advises that “only very young and naked, with closed eyes and ears, should be given to experts as soon as possible,” while offering all clarity: “You can touch animals without any problems. Squirrels do not suffer from rabies or diseases that can Be transmitted to humans!” Even small human-following squirrels are not dangerous. With this behavior, the animals are only indicating that they need help because they have lost their mother. These orphaned little squirrels find a loving cat to be their surrogate mother.

First aid for baby squirrels – animals need rest and sleep

Since orphaned baby squirrels are usually in shock and extremely weak, they need one thing above all to recover: adequate rest and sleep. An animal transport crate or crate lined with soft towels or a fleece blanket is suitable for providing young animals with a safe environment. An additional heat source (such as a hot water bottle or cherry pit pillow) under the insert keeps little ones warm. In one of the videos, sleeping baby squirrels hug their mother.

In addition to a warm comfort zone, young squirrels also have an increased need for fluids. Like this squirrel drinking Pepsi in a restaurant. From just three ingredients, an emergency mixture is created in no time at all, which can be given drop by drop into the mouth of adopted children with the help of a thin needle-free syringe to feed the vulnerable squirrel babies again.

  • 100 milliliters of fennel tea or boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon of dextrose or table sugar
  • pinch of salt

First aid for young squirrels – encouraging young children to urinate

After feeding squirrels, it is also important to empty their bladders regularly. Because until the age of seven to eight weeks, young squirrels cannot urinate on their own. In nature, the mother takes over the stimulus by licking. Of course, this is not the case with foster children at home. But a simple trick can help: simply rub the genitals gently with a tissue or a cotton pad and the squirrel will begin to pee.

The various associations are happy to help with information and advice about further upbringing or placement in a nursery school. Emergency numbers and contact details for rescue centers throughout Germany are available on the website of the Association “Squirrels in Need”.

List of rules: © Boris Roessler / dpa

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