Helping Wildlife – Squirrels
Eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), and Southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) are all well-established inhabitants of Ohio. In central Ohio, people most commonly see Eastern gray squirrels, but the Southern flying squirrels, which are active at night, actually out-number all other species.
If you find a baby squirrel, it has likely fallen from its nest. Squirrels are excellent mothers and will retrieve their babies if they are able. Mother squirrels also create multiple nest sites; females will move their offspring to a new nest if the primary nest is destroyed. Please give mother squirrels plenty of time to find and rescue their young.
Mother squirrels are very loyal to their infants and will usually retrieve young that have fallen from the nest site. The mother will pick the infant up in her mouth and carry it back to the nest. Infants often fall without sustaining any injuries. Quickly scan the squirrel for any signs of injury or the presence of fleas or fly eggs (look like tiny rice grains); injured or parasite infested animals must be admitted to Ohio Wildlife Center’s Hospital.
If uninjured, leave the squirrel at the base of the tree and give the mother a chance to retrieve it. Make sure that all pets are kept indoors during this time. If the mother doesn’t immediately return, place the squirrel in an open shallow box at the base of the tree. If it is a cold or rainy day, then place the infant in a shoebox turned on its side. Even when it’s warm outside, most young squirrels will need a supplemental heat source in half of the box:
- A sock filled with dry rice (tie knot at end of sock and microwave for ~ 1 min)
- Zip-lock bag filled with hot water placed in a second bag to prevent leaking
- Empty cola bottle or hot water bottle filled with hot water wrapped in a t-shirt or cloth
If weather permits, give the mother squirrel until sunset to retrieve her baby. If she does not come, bring the infant inside for the night and if a heating pad is available, place a heating pad on the LOWEST setting under HALF of the box with a towel or t-shirt in between the squirrel and the box. DO NOT attempt to feed the squirrels any liquids. If the eyes are open, a few large chunks of fruit and unsalted nuts may be added with the squirrel. At sunrise attempt to reunite the squirrel for 30-60 minutes. If the mother still does not come for her infant it should be considered an orphan and be admitted to Ohio Wildlife Center’s Hospital.
If the squirrel was found in the yard not directly under a tree, look for any trees in the yard (or gutters of the house) with leaf nests or cavities and attempt reuniting as described above. Suspect a possible cat attack if the infant was found near the front or back door (unless there is a gutter immediately above door), since it is unlikely that the young squirrel fell out of the tree, crawled across the yard, climbed up the steps, and decided to rest by the door. In such cases, bring the squirrel to Ohio Wildlife Center’s Hospital for a physical examination. Source
Local organization asking for donations
A local organization, Nature Nurses Wildlife Rescue, is asking for donations of shelled nuts. They’re for the anticipated 500 orphaned squirrels that they may be feeding in 2020. The organization says each squirrel goes through a minimum of one pound of nuts in the shell for their stay so they’ve set a goal of 500 pounds. They’re asking residents to pick up a bag of shelled nuts the next time they’re at the grocery store.
Earlier this year, there was a power outage at the Hamilton County Justice Center due to a squirrel. The squirrel got into the electrical equipment, which tripped the fire control system and shut down power partially to the building. Duke energy says it was a transmission outage at a substation which controls the justice center.
Wildlife rescue seeking donations of shelled nuts for orphaned squirrels
Nature Nurses Wildlife Rescue is holding a nut drive to feed their anticipated 500 orphaned squirrels in 2020.
According to a Facebook post, the rescue is in need of nuts in the shell (unsalted) for the hundreds of orphaned, displaced or injured squirrels.
Nature Nurses says each squirrel goes through a minimum of one pound of nuts in the shell for their stay so they’ve set a goal of 500 pounds. Read more
Summary: A local organization, Nature Nurses Wildlife Rescue, is asking for donations of shelled nuts. They’re for the estimated 500 orphaned squirrels that they may be feeding in 2020.
— Squirrel Beebz 🐿 and Dan (@SquirrelBeebz) October 23, 2019
Squirrel in equipment caused power outage at Justice Center
Power is back on at the Hamilton County Justice Center, Duke Energy officials say.
A squirrel got into a piece of electrical equipment, which tripped the fire control system and shut down power partially throughout the building, they say. The squirrel did not survive.
Duke Energy said it was a transmission outage at a substation which feeds the justice center. That went out and impacted the transformer near the justice center which shut down to protect the building from damage.
Officials say situations with squirrels getting into electrical equipment is fairly common. Learn more
Summary: A squirrel caused a power outage at the Hamilton County Justice Center earlier this year. Squirrels and other animals are often the cause of power outages.