Orphaned Animal Care/Baby Squirrel Care

Recently, while coming home from class, I found that I was being followed by a tiny baby squirrel. Regardless of my hesitation to let him near me, expecting him to bite, he purred and continued to try to approach me. After waiting for some time for his mother, the sun began to set. At this point, he had already begun to fall asleep on my boot. Because we were near a busy road, I decided it was best to take him in. He was smaller than my palm, and I scooped him up and put him in my empty purse, where he quickly fell asleep.

After some research, I quickly went out to buy him what he needed until I could transport him to a wildlife rehabilitation center. The first thing that is recommended is that you rehydrate the baby. This can be done using Pedialyte, a liquid which is usually used for human infants but is also squirrel safe. The baby can then be fed through a syringe which he/she will suck on.

For food, the baby can safely eat Esbilac, a powder puppy milk replacer, mixed with water and heavy whipping cream for fat. It’s not safe to feed baby squirrels the cow milk that we drink. The baby will also need a source of warmth. Most babies are not fully furred yet and cannot digest unless they are warm enough. The baby can be kept warm with either a water bottle filled with hot water (covered in a rag) or with a heating pad.

The little baby, who we named Noah, was successfully transported to a nearby wildlife rehabilitation center. There, he will live with and grow up with other squirrels until he will be placed in a pre-release outdoor cage so he can adjust to the wild. After he seems adjusted, he will be let free into the wild. I do not condone keeping wild animals as pets and believe this was the right thing to do for the both of us.



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