Red Squirrel Survivor Tales
the Autumn of 2007, a female adult red squirrel was brought to the JSPCA
Animals’ Shelter having unfortunately been involved in a road traffic
She was quickly clinically examined and placed in a warm, quiet environment. She was in shock, but it was also obvious that a serious injury had occurred as she could not use either of her hind legs. An x-ray was taken of her spine and back legs and this clearly showed compression of her spine at the level of the junction between the thoracic and lumbar spine. Appropriate medications were administered, including pain killers and fluid therapy, and the little squirrel was placed in a suitable cage where she could rest undisturbed.
The outlook for the
squirrel with this injury was very guarded as there was a real possibility
that the injury to her spine could have additionally resulted in nerve
damage to her back legs, bladder and bowels.
The next few days were going to be critical to see if she could
survive the initial shock of the accident but also to see if she could
manage to go to the toilet unaided, indicating that her bladder and bowel
function was undamaged.
Fortunately, with much relief to the JSPCA Clinic staff, the little squirrel (named “Eve” by staff) soon began eating well and also toileting as normal. However, she still needed to regain full use of her back legs, which at this stage in her recovery, she continued to drag behind her. Strict rest was required.
two months of care, Eve had nearly regained normal complete use of her hind
legs and was moving with ease around her cage accommodation. Soon she could also lift her tail and curl it right over her
back. At this point she was placed in substantially larger accommodation
where she could continue her rehabilitation and regain her physical
strength in her hind legs and level of fitness prior to being eventually
released back to the wild.
In the beginning to 2008, Eve was taken to a quiet area in the countryside where she was introduced back to her natural habitat. She remained at this site in a large enclosure that had been designed to enable the squirrel to start to fend for itself, as it would in the wild and acclimatise to its new surroundings (‘soft release’) before eventually being released back into its natural habitat in the wild. Good luck Eve!
Please remember to take care when driving, especially on the country roads and green lanes so as to avoid killing the squirrels.
Errol, a cheeky chap:
A young red squirrel was brought to the Animals' Shelter in the middle of April 2008 by a member of the public who had found him alone on the ground whilst she was out walking her dog. This little boy (named "Errol" by clinic staff) was only approximately 4 weeks old when he arrived at the JSPCA as only his bottom front teeth (incisors) had erupted - he was far too young to leave the nest and survive in the big wild world. After initially being offered rehydration fluids, he was introduced to weaning foods and eventually started feeding on his own. He began fine-tuning his intuitive climbing skills very quickly and will be released back into his natural habitat in the wild as soon as he is capable of finding his own food and surviving on his own in the wild.