Orphaned Wildlife:  Squirrels


Q: There’s a baby squirrel outside under a tree – is he orphaned?
Photo credit: Chris Clark

A:  If tree work was recently done and the nest or baby fell down as a result, give the mother a chance to reclaim her young.  If the baby fell from the tree uninjured, leave him where he is, leave the area and keep people and pets away.   Monitor from a safe distance; if the baby is not retrieved by night-time, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator near you.

If there is a risk of predation, you can put the squirrel in a wicker basket and attach the basket securely to the tree.  The baby squirrel must remain within the immediate vicinity of where he fell, or the mother will not find him.

Also, do not cover the squirrel with leaves or blankets because the mother will not be able to find him.  If it is chilly outside, or if the baby isn’t fully furred, you can provide him with a heat source, such as a heating pad set on low (run an extension cord to a nearby electrical outlet) or a hot water bottle.  Do not place the baby squirrel directly on top of the heating pad or hot water bottle, because he will get burned.  Always place a piece of soft fabric between the baby squirrel and the heating device.