How to Rescue a Squirrel

Have you ever come across a distressed squirrel and felt a tug on your heartstrings? Well, fear not! This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of rescuing a squirrel in need.

From assessing the risks and gathering the necessary equipment, to safely containing and transporting the squirrel, we’ve got you covered.

So, grab your gloves and get ready to become a hero for these adorable creatures!

Key Takeaways

  • Look for signs of distress in a squirrel such as trembling, excessive vocalization, or disorientation.
  • Approach the squirrel cautiously and with care, wearing gloves to protect against bites or scratches.
  • Seek professional help from a wildlife rehabilitator if needed.
  • Use appropriate equipment such as a towel or blanket, gloves, and a secure container for safe containment and transportation.

Identifying a Distressed Squirrel

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You should look for signs such as unusual behavior or injuries to identify if a squirrel is distressed. Distressed squirrel symptoms may include trembling, excessive vocalization, or a disoriented and lethargic state.

If you notice a squirrel with these symptoms, it is important to approach it cautiously and with care. Proper handling techniques should be followed to avoid causing further distress or harm to the squirrel.

Wear gloves to protect yourself from potential bites or scratches. Gently place a towel or cloth over the squirrel’s body to help immobilize it. Carefully pick up the squirrel, supporting its body and avoiding any sudden movements.

It is crucial to seek professional help from a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible to ensure the squirrel receives the proper care and treatment it needs.

Assessing the Risks and Safety Precautions

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When rescuing a distressed squirrel, there are several hazards that you need to consider to ensure your safety. These hazards include potential bites or scratches from the squirrel, as well as the risk of transmitting diseases such as rabies.

To protect yourself, it is important to take safety measures such as wearing thick gloves, using a towel or blanket to handle the squirrel, and avoiding direct contact with its saliva or blood.

Hazards to Consider

Be aware of potential hazards to consider when rescuing a squirrel. It is important to prioritize safety for both yourself and the squirrel during the rescue process. Here are three hazardous situations and potential injuries to be mindful of:

  1. Falls: Squirrels often climb trees and buildings, which may require you to reach high places during the rescue. Be cautious of the risk of falling and ensure you have a secure footing or use safety equipment like a harness.

  2. Bites and Scratches: Squirrels may become frightened or defensive when approached by humans. Keep in mind that they have sharp teeth and claws that can cause injuries. Use protective gear, such as gloves, to minimize the risk of bites and scratches.

  3. Traffic: If a squirrel is in a perilous location, such as a busy road, rescue efforts may involve navigating through traffic. Stay vigilant and exercise caution to avoid accidents with vehicles.

Safety Measures Necessary

To ensure a safe rescue, it’s important to take necessary safety measures. When responding to an emergency involving a squirrel, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and the safety of others. Here are some key safety measures to consider:

Safety Measure Description Importance
Wear protective gloves Protects your hands from bites or scratches High
Use a towel or blanket to handle the squirrel Prevents direct contact and reduces stress for the squirrel Medium
Keep children and pets away from the rescue area Minimizes the risk of accidents or injuries High
Have a first aid kit on hand Allows you to provide immediate care if needed Medium

Gathering the Necessary Equipment

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Make sure you have all the necessary equipment before attempting to rescue a squirrel. Here are three essential items you will need to ensure the safety of both yourself and the squirrel:

  1. Gloves: Choose appropriate gear such as thick, sturdy gloves to protect your hands from scratches or bites. Squirrels can have sharp claws and teeth, so it’s important to have a good grip and avoid direct contact with their skin.

  2. Towel or blanket: Use a towel or blanket to gently restrain the squirrel. This will help keep them calm and prevent them from scratching or jumping away. Wrap the towel around the squirrel, ensuring that their head is covered to reduce stress.

  3. Carrier or box: Have a carrier or box ready to transport the rescued squirrel. Make sure it has proper ventilation and is secure to prevent any escapes during transportation.

Approaching the Squirrel With Caution

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Now that you have gathered all the necessary equipment to rescue a squirrel, it is important to approach the squirrel with caution to ensure the safety of both yourself and the squirrel. Approaching techniques and safety protocols are crucial in this step.

Firstly, make sure to move slowly and quietly towards the squirrel. Sudden movements or loud noises can startle and stress the squirrel, potentially causing it to run away or become aggressive. Keep in mind that squirrels are wild animals and may view you as a threat.

Maintain a safe distance from the squirrel, allowing it to feel comfortable and not trapped. Avoid making direct eye contact, as this can be seen as a sign of aggression. Instead, avert your gaze slightly to show that you mean no harm.

Remember to always prioritize your safety and the squirrel’s well-being. If at any point the squirrel appears distressed or aggressive, it is best to retreat and seek professional help.

Safely Containing and Transporting the Squirrel

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When safely containing and transporting a squirrel, remember to use a secure and well-ventilated container that will keep the squirrel calm and prevent it from escaping. Here are three important tips to help you transport the squirrel safely:

  1. Use a sturdy container: Choose a container made of thick plastic or metal that is large enough for the squirrel to move around comfortably. Make sure there are no holes or gaps where the squirrel could squeeze through.

  2. Provide proper ventilation: Squirrels need fresh air to breathe, so ensure that the container has enough ventilation holes. However, make sure the holes are small enough that the squirrel cannot escape.

  3. Add bedding and food: Line the bottom of the container with soft bedding material, such as shredded newspaper or a small towel. Also, include some food and water to keep the squirrel nourished during transport.

Providing Temporary Shelter and Nourishment

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When it comes to providing temporary shelter and nourishment for a rescued squirrel, there are a few key points to consider.

Firstly, you’ll want to ensure you have safe shelter options available, such as a well-ventilated crate or a cozy nest box.

Additionally, it’s important to provide the squirrel with nutritious food sources, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, to help meet their dietary needs and promote their overall health and well-being.

Safe Shelter Options

If you’re looking for safe shelter options for a rescued squirrel, you can consider using a sturdy cardboard box lined with soft bedding. This provides a cozy and secure space for the squirrel to rest and recover.

Here are three DIY shelter ideas to consider:

  1. Nesting Box: Create a small wooden box with a removable lid. Drill a few small ventilation holes and line the bottom with soft bedding material such as shredded newspaper or fleece.

  2. Hanging Basket: Use a wire basket with a solid bottom and secure it to a tree branch or other elevated area. Line the basket with soft nesting material and ensure it is deep enough to provide a comfortable space for the squirrel.

  3. Large Plastic Container: Repurpose a plastic storage bin by cutting a small entrance hole near the bottom. Line the bin with bedding and secure the lid with ventilation holes. This option is weather-resistant and provides ample space for the squirrel to move around.

Remember to place the shelter in a quiet and secluded area to minimize stress for the rescued squirrel.

Nutritious Food Sources

One option for providing nutritious food for a rescued squirrel is to offer a variety of nuts and seeds. These foods are rich in protein and healthy fats, which are essential for the squirrel’s growth and development. It is important to ensure that the nuts and seeds are fresh and properly stored to maintain their nutritional value. Food preservation techniques such as storing them in airtight containers or freezing them can help extend their shelf life. When feeding the squirrel, it is crucial to use proper feeding techniques to prevent overfeeding or underfeeding. Monitoring the squirrel’s weight and adjusting the portion size accordingly is important for its overall health. Additionally, offering a diverse range of nuts and seeds can provide the squirrel with different nutrients and prevent dietary deficiencies.

Nuts Seeds Benefits
Almonds Sunflower Seeds High in protein and vitamin E
Walnuts Pumpkin Seeds Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Pecans Flaxseeds Good source of fiber
Hazelnuts Chia Seeds Provides antioxidants and minerals

Contacting Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers or Experts

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To contact wildlife rehabilitation centers or experts, you can simply reach out and ask for their assistance with rescuing the squirrel. They are trained professionals who specialize in the wildlife rehabilitation process and can provide valuable guidance and support.

Here are three reasons why contacting these centers or experts is beneficial:

  1. Expertise: Wildlife rehabilitation centers have experienced staff who possess in-depth knowledge about squirrel rescue techniques. They can offer advice on how to safely handle and transport the squirrel, ensuring its well-being throughout the process.

  2. Resources: These centers have the necessary resources, such as specialized equipment and proper facilities, to provide appropriate care for injured or orphaned squirrels. They can also connect you with local wildlife experts who can further assist in the rescue.

  3. Legalities: Wildlife rehabilitation centers are well-versed in the legalities surrounding wildlife rescue. They can guide you through any permits or licenses required to rescue the squirrel and ensure compliance with wildlife protection regulations.

Releasing the Squirrel Back Into the Wild

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When releasing the squirrel back into the wild, make sure to choose a suitable location that provides ample food, water, and shelter for its survival.

After going through the rehabilitation process, it is crucial to reintroduce the squirrel to its natural habitat in a way that maximizes its chances of thriving. Begin by selecting a release site that closely resembles the squirrel’s original environment. This will help the squirrel adapt more easily to its new surroundings.

Gradual release techniques are often recommended, where the squirrel is initially placed in an outdoor enclosure or a secure area with access to natural elements. This allows the squirrel to acclimate to the outdoor conditions while still providing some level of protection.

Once the squirrel shows signs of independence and has successfully adapted, it can be released fully into the wild, ensuring a smooth transition back to its natural habitat.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take for a Squirrel to Recover From Distress?

It takes some time for a squirrel to recover from distress. During the rehabilitation process, signs of improvement can include increased activity, improved appetite, and the ability to climb trees again.

Can Squirrels Transmit Diseases to Humans?

Squirrel borne diseases can be transmitted to humans, but the risk is low. For example, a case study showed a person contracting Lyme disease from a tick on a squirrel. To minimize risk, wear gloves when handling squirrels and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

What Should I Do if I Find a Baby Squirrel?

If you find a baby squirrel, it’s important to know how to properly care for it. Providing warmth, feeding a specialized formula, and contacting a wildlife rehabilitator are crucial steps. Once rehabilitated, release the squirrel into the wild.

How Can I Tell if a Squirrel Is Injured or Just Resting?

If you stumble upon a squirrel and wonder if it’s injured or simply taking a nap, keep an eye out for signs like limping, bleeding, or difficulty moving. Common squirrel injuries include broken bones and wounds.

Is It Legal to Keep a Squirrel as a Pet?

It is important to understand the legal requirements and ethical considerations before keeping a squirrel as a pet. Research local laws and regulations, consider their specific needs, and ensure you can provide a suitable environment for their well-being.


Congratulations on successfully rescuing a squirrel! You’ve shown immense compassion and bravery in your efforts to save this tiny creature.

By providing temporary shelter, nourishment, and contacting wildlife rehabilitation centers, you’ve given the squirrel a second chance at life.

Now, as you release it back into the wild, imagine the joy and freedom it will experience as it scampers through the trees, its heart filled with gratitude for your kindness.

Your actions have made a profound impact on this squirrel’s journey, and the world is a better place because of it.

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