Well baby squirrel season started already. We currently have 6 baby fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) in our Baby Warm incubator. One has a minor injury from falling from the nest. But what I really want to talk about is what to do, and what not to do if you find an orphaned baby.
But first let’s put a myth to rest. Mom will absolutely take her babies back even if you touched them. There, that’s a thing you know now.
- See if you can locate the nest it came from. Mother squirrels usually have a backup nest already built so reuniting is very possible. The smaller the babies are, the easier it is for mom to take them back to her nest.
- If reuniting is not an option due to injury or other reason, put the baby in a box with a lid, keep it it quiet and warm, and do NOT try to give it any food, milk, water, etc… This is for a few reasons. Baby has to be at proper temperate, so does the formula, and they have to be slowly introduced to formula so they do not get diarrhea (see picture). Diarrhea causes dehydration if not dealt with first. It’s also pretty messy!
- Contact a permitted rehabber. ANY small mammal rehabber. If they can not take it, most will help you find a rehabber close to you.
- Be patient. Lots of calls coming in about babies right now. Leave messages if you get voicemails! Do not hang up and call right back. We could be either working with animals, on another call, or at our day job and not in a position to answer a phone.
- Did I mention to not offer any food or water?
As always, thank you for your support.