Naked and alone: Baby squirrel finds new family at Vancouver Island wildlife rehab

There are four young red squirrels on the mend at Wild ARC in Metchosin. (Wild ARC/Facebook)There are four young red squirrels on the mend at Wild ARC in Metchosin. (Wild ARC/Facebook)
Uninjured physically, but in shock and hypothermic, a naked baby squirrel is on the mend at Wild ARC in Metchosin. (Wild ARC/Facebook)Uninjured physically, but in shock and hypothermic, a naked baby squirrel is on the mend at Wild ARC in Metchosin. (Wild ARC/Facebook)

Among four young red squirrels healing and bonding at the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre, is one that came in naked and alone.

The first to arrive, the near-hairless baby was found after his mother was killed by a car while carrying him. The person who found him brought him to Wild ARC for help right away. Uninjured physically, but in shock and hypothermic, the squirrel arrived with nearly no fur due to a mite infestation. The rehabilitation team worked quickly to stabilize him and provide parasite treatment to begin the process of regrowing his fur.

READ ALSO: B.C. biologist floats tips to keeping hummingbirds fed, safe this season

Red squirrels are a native-to-B.C. tree squirrel. About half the size of grey squirrels, they are rusty-red coloured with white underparts. Wild ARC typically sees one or two baby red squirrels every other year, so when a group of three showed up a few days later, the team was surprised.

Cold, dehydrated, and covered in fleas, the team figures they crawled out of their nest looking for food after their mother didn’t return. The trio had a few days to stabilize and be treated for fleas before one was introduced to the solo furless squirrel. After a vocal introduction, they quickly accepted their new naked sibling.

All arrived with their eyes open and able to eat solid food, leaving rehabilitators optimistic for their release back to the wild before winter.

Learn more about these critters and how to help at medical.spca.bc.ca.

READ ALSO: Squirrels don’t need your nuts, thanks

christine.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


 

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