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April 9th, 2010

our new baby

We have a new baby in our family - a baby squirrel that is.  I think he was born in our attic.  The flickers made a hole in the side or our house next to the chimney under the eaves, and then the squirrels moved in.  This little guy was trapped in our window well on Wed - twice.  Or maybe it was one of his brothers or sisters one of those times.  Anyway, two times we had to put 2X4s in the window wells so little baby squirrels could climb out.  Here is the second time it happened.
We figured he found his way back home again.  Then yesterday Adam came home early from work to work in the yard, and this little guy was following him around all over the yard!  He ended up climbing up Adam.  Since there had been a cat hanging around and we have lots of foxes in the neighborhood, Adam didn't want to leave him out there while he went to pick up kids, so he popped the little guy into a cat carrier and brought him along.  

My mom used to volunteer with the humane society back in Rockville, MD as a wildlife rehabilitator, and she raised and released over 100 squirrels (plus the occasional other animal).  I called her and e-mailed her pics of him, and she confirmed that he was not big enough to be out on his own. He is probably about 8 wks old and is somewhere around the age of being weaned.  He acts like maybe he was still getting some milk from mom, but it's hard to know for sure.

We've decided to call him Zaboo (after the character from The Guild).  We'll take care of him until he is old enough to go out on his own, and then we will release him.  In the mean time, we'll be building him a better squirrel cage.  He is drinking water from an eyedropper (he chokes on it when he tries to drink from a saucer) and making nut dust out of peanuts, almonds, pecans, etc.  He must eat SOME of what he chews up, but he is far from efficient at this point.  He also has eaten some carrot and broccoli.  He is very sweet and spent the day at work with me, hiding inside my sweater.  He likes to snuggle up under my arm - I think he misses his mommy.  :(