WHAT TO DO UNTIL YOU FIND A REHABBER:

***IMPORTANT PRECAUTIONS – READ BEFORE PROCEEDING***

Whenever you make the decision to handle wildlife, you are doing so at your own risk. If you decide to do so, please follow instructions carefully and take appropriate precautions. Do not contact wildlife with bare hands, and do not allow children or pets near baby wildlife! Many wild babies may look healthy, but can harbor fleas, internal parasites, or illnesses that can cause harm if proper sanitation is not observed. Always wash hands thoroughly immediately after handling the baby or its container, as well as any item that comes in contact with the baby squirrel. Discard used disposable items away from where people or pets may come in contact with them.

NEVER FEED MILK OR OTHER FORMULAS TO WILDLIFE! THIS CAN CAUSE ILLNESS OR DEATH. IF YOU HAVE DONE SO ALREADY, STOP IMMEDIATELY.

Tell the rehabber if you have accidentally fed milk or any other formula, so they know that the squirrel has it in its system and can treat the squirrel accordingly.

DO NOT USE FLEA TREATMENTS – MOST CAN KILL YOUNG SQUIRRELS.

Leave that part up to the rehabber you contact. In the meantime, keep the baby away from pets and children.

STEP 1: Retrieve the baby and Keep it in a safe, quiet, warm place away from pets, children, or danger.

Look around the area to see if there are other orphaned baby squirrels that may have been part of the litter.

-Rescuing older baby (“juvenile”) squirrels such as the size shown below:

Protect your eyes and use heavy gloves when attempting to pick up a squirrel this size. Using gloves (heavy gloves and a towel for larger juvenile squirrels to avoid being scratched or bit), you can put the squirrel in a ventilated container (such as a small pet carrier or very strong box that they can’t chew/climb out of). Put in some soft cloths for bedding and security (be sure the cloths are not stringy or have loops, such as terrycloth, as baby’s nails can get caught). Put half of the container on top of a heating pad set on low. This lets the squirrel move toward or away from the heat as needed. Wash hands thoroughly after handling baby, bedding, equipment, etc. Keep everyone, especially pets and children, away from the baby squirrel, and put it in a quiet location. Do not let anyone handle or disturb the squirrel(s).

You can estimate the approximate age of the baby you’ve found, using the photos in STEP 2.

-Rescuing small baby squirrels: such as in the photo shown below:

You can estimate the approximate age of the baby you’ve found, using the photos in STEP 2. Use gloves or a cloth to pick up the baby(s). You can put them in container such as a shoebox, with holes in the lid for ventilation. Place some soft cloths for bedding in the box. Be sure the bedding is not stringy, such as terrycloth. (Babies get their toes caught in the loops and can be injured).

Put half of the container on top of a heating pad set on low. This lets the squirrel move toward or away from the heat as needed. Wash hands thoroughly after handling baby, bedding, equipment, etc. Keep everyone, especially pets and children, away from the baby squirrel, and put it in a quiet location. Do not let anyone handle or disturb the squirrel(s).

STEP 2: Determine the approximate age of the baby squirrel.

These photos can help determine the baby's age, so you can tell the rehabber the approximate age of the baby.

Newborn to 1 week old (“pinkie”) You can see that squirrels are born without fur, but they already have tiny fingernails and toenails:

1.5 to 2 weeks old The baby in the next 2 pictures, is being moved by its mother in her mouth. It is approximately 1.5 to 2 weeks old:

2.5-4 weeks old The following pictures show that at this age, the eyelids are developing, and thin fur covers the back and tail:
 

4.5–5 weeks old Here you can see, the baby squirrel has a bit more fur, ears are open, and its little eyes are either open, or will be opening soon:

Approximately 5-6 weeks old Babies this age have a thin long furred body with large feet and hands. Usually around 5 weeks the eyes open, but this can vary. You can see in the 2 pictures below, that this baby’s eyes have opened. The baby’s tail is thin and not yet bushy. (The syringe in this photo is not filled with milk. It is a specially ordered squirrel formula mix.). Tails although still thin, are a bit fuller.

6-7weeks old (juvenile) grey squirrel The next picture shows squirrels approximately 6-7 weeks old. You can see that their tails are getting fluffier and fuller. The body is getting stronger and more proportionate to the head and arm size. They begin to attempt to sit up on their own during this phase. They are beginning to nibble at soft solid foods, but are still dependent on the mother. They still sleep a lot, but when awake are very frisky if healthy.

8 week old (juvenile) grey squirrel The next photo shows a juvenile closer to 8 weeks old. Note how the squirrel’s tail is much bushier and the body thicker. This juvenile can sit up and eat some soft foods and soft nut pieces. He is still dependent on the mother.

(Caution: at this age only handle with strong gloves or a towel and protect your eyes. A squirrel this age can jump quite fast and deliver a good nip and scratch, especially if they are frightened):

Juvenile grey squirrel 9+ weeks old These squirrels are almost weaned from the mother and are able to eat solid foods to supplement their diet. They are fast and run away if approached. This one shown below is approximately 9-10 weeks old. At this point they are able to crack through hard nut shells. A squirrel this age can deliver a nasty bite, and scratches. When a rehabber handles a young squirrel this age, they must protect their hands with heavy gloves and a towel, and protect their eyes.

You can also refer to the following website to see excellent photos of babies to approximate different ages, as well as other information:)

http://www.squirrel-rehab.org/squirrels/photo1.html

STEP 3: CONTACT A WILDLIFE REHABBER IN YOUR AREA.

Once the baby is safely contained and warm, immediately find a qualified wildlife rehabber in your area for help.


IF YOU LIVE IN WISCONSIN, CLICK HERE TO FIND A REHABBER IN YOUR AREA.

Wisconsin Wildlife Rehabilitation Directory

IF YOU LIVE IN ANOTHER STATE, FIND A REHABBER BY GOING TO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES:

Squirrel-Rehab.org

Wildlife Rehabber

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO CONTACT A REHABBER IN YOUR AREA:

It is best to just keep the baby squirrel safe and warm and in a quiet location until help arrives. However, if you have not been able to locate a rehabber for several hours, or must keep the baby squirrel overnight until you can get help, you may need to help a small baby urinate and defecate since it cannot do so on its own. Dehydration can also be a threat if help cannot be found for several hours. If you need emergency instructions,

CLICK HERE. Note that these instructions do not take the place of a qualified rehabber. They are provided only to keep a baby alive if several hours have passed until a qualified rehabber responds in your vicinity. Do not attempt to rehab a baby squirrel by yourself!

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