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Captive squirrels?

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Moonfall
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Captive squirrels?

Postby Moonfall » Mon May 21, 2012 11:41 pm

Many of you know that I rescued a fox squirrel fairly recently. He had terrible mange and very nearly died. Anyway, he was hand raised carefully and is eating solids now. His fur is starting to come in and he is a wonderful guy. However..we have a problem. Unlike other squirrels I have raised, this little boy is VERY friendly.

His testicles just descended, he is no longer young enough that he should be confident with people. At this age most of the time they are skittish and bitey, and ready to be turned out into a release cage.

That...isn't the case. I walked into the bathroom just now (where he lives) and he came over to the bars begging for pets. I put my hand in the cage and he stuck his head in it until I stroked him.

This is not normal for a fox squirrel. It isn't. I've never heard of it before.

So now the dilemma- what is the right thing to do? I would love to keep him as a pet. They live..I think about 10 years, which isn't too bad, really. However, I want him to be happy. I don't know anything about caring for adult squirrels, although I'm very familiar with baby ones.

My vet will see him, so that is not an issue.

Could anyone offer some guidance? D:

Also, have a picture-

Image

He's barely got peach fuzz on those bare areas, but he IS getting better.
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veralidaine
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby veralidaine » Tue May 22, 2012 12:54 am

It's possible that there were simply different variables in this situation than in others' that led to this squirrel being friendlier; age when rescued, location, severity of injury and a sort of 'realisation' that he/she would not be alive without you (obviously, I use the term loosely but I would not be surprised if animals could at least make a connection between the person handling them and the fact that they used to feel bad and now they don't.) Sometimes, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference. I would recommend keeping him and just doing research on how to care for him. Even if you can't find information on that specific species, I'm sure you could use information from pet store rodents. Nature is great that way; once it has physiology that works, it doesn't tend to change it up too drastically.
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Ash
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby Ash » Tue May 22, 2012 4:40 am

He's super cute! I'm glad he's getting better. My sister just today found an orphaned gray squirrel today and was able to have it for a few hours until my mom and her could got him to a rehabber.

Probably now that he is so friendly it wouldn't be good for him to be turned loose. If you lived somewhere out in the country it probably wouldn't matter, but if there are other humans around they might freak out at a friendly, wild squirrel.

Is there any way you can get a permit to keep him? It's great that you have a vet willing to see him. In all honesty I doubt very many people will care if you have a squirrel, so you probably would be able to keep him without much trouble. But I would be very hesitant to risk it; I would definitely look into trying to find a way to keep him legally.

Thanks for updating us on him! He's too adorable for his own good. ;)
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Moonfall
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby Moonfall » Tue May 22, 2012 4:46 am

Our neighbor almost shot one of my previously released babies on his second day out. He walked about 5 feet from him, simply being curious (and young and learning), but the neighbor though he was rabid. -glaring-

That baby could not be touched and was like the devil himself. I can only imagine what this one would do.

I don't think I can get a permit for him..not that I know of anyway.
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Ash
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby Ash » Tue May 22, 2012 5:02 am

Ugh, with neighbors like that, I would be really hesitant to release him. Maybe you ought to find a rehabber who can get him sent to an educational facility?

Let us know if you're going to keep him. It would be fun to have a pet squirrel, I would think. :) And it's great that he's such a friendly little guy. You should post more pictures so we can all bathe in the cuteness. :mrgreen:
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby minervasden » Tue May 22, 2012 6:29 am

Is this your first fox squirrel? They are much different in temperment than the grays. Calmer and easier to work with in general.
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the_unstable
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby the_unstable » Tue May 22, 2012 11:00 am

If it were me, I'd keep him, especially with the nutty neighbor. A rabid squirrel...I figured most people would think, "Awh, the squirrel is friendly! How cute! Let's feed it!" I've heard a lot of stories from people who befriended wild squirrels that would come up to the windows of their houses for food and stuff.
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue May 22, 2012 2:44 pm

Too bad about your neighbor. If no neighbors to worry about soft release of friendly squirrels works well. They even get to staying at a distance after a fairly short time.
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby Moonfall » Tue May 22, 2012 3:20 pm

I've never worked with greys, we don't have them here. My experience has been with Fox squirrels only. The only rehabber here is insane and he would be put down most likely. I truly dislike her. Any time I've taken a baby to her, usually after having it overnight (they always come to me in the middle of the night, ahh!) I got yelled at. I'm sitting there like, "I just stayed up all night rehydrating this baby, don't yell at me."
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Talys
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby Talys » Fri May 25, 2012 8:13 pm

That's...really unfortunate with the rehabber. I helped with two baby greys I think last year or the year before. Different, but still a pleasure to help raise and the release went well. As to the neighbor...wack-job much? I made friends with a squirrel on my campus; most people I know think, "Oh hey-good for you!" I hope for pictures soon! I love the little guys and can't wait to see how he's doing =D
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Moonfall
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby Moonfall » Sat May 26, 2012 1:32 pm

Image

I have decided I am going to try to release him. He will be moved into an outdoor release cage next week, and hopefully after a month or two outside, he will wild up.

The reason for this is, even though I can pet him, he doesn't like to be picked up and he has scolded me and shown some natural fear. I want to give him a chance to go free.

Of course, if he doesn't want to, I'll keep him. :P
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Talys
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby Talys » Sat May 26, 2012 10:35 pm

That's great either way! I wish him luck if he's released and you both luck if you keep him ^.^
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby Trefoil » Mon May 28, 2012 9:13 pm

Is there any way you can talk with your neighbor and explain that he is tame, not rabid? Its truly sad that people are being taught to fear "wild" animals, I understand the reasoning behind it but its sad. I would be afraid to let him loose unless you think you can convince him to stay around your house and not the neighbors.
Moonfall
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby Moonfall » Mon May 28, 2012 9:36 pm

I won't let him loose until he has been in a release cage for quite some time.

Unfortunately our neighbors HATE us, and animals as well, and if I told them it is likely they would seek him out just to kill him. (I saw the wife kicking a mother duck and babies while laughing about it and they shoot birds for fun)
Moonfall
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Re: Captive squirrels?

Postby Moonfall » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:24 pm

Well, the little one is in a release cage now. He's been consorting with wild squirrels. He comes to me when I call, or if I have food, but he is not allowing himself to be touched too much anymore. I am hoping he will do ok in the wild.

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