04.05.2004 - Two darling baby squirrels. I removed them from a squirrel nest in an attic, along with the mother squirrel. It's a bit late in the season for
squirrels this young, but one can't always count on Mother Nature to deliver on schedule. One can count on Mother David to deliver a fine resting place for baby critters
- in my pockets! I will name them Scroungy and Scritchy. They are very cute, nestled up in my pockets and fondling my nipples. I think I'll keep them as pets
On second though, no I won't. Squirrels aren't meant to be pets. Yes, they can be cute, and they are very agile and talented, but they are wild animals, and just not meant to be kept for fun. These little squirrels will just stay in my pockets long enough for some photos, then it's off to the wildlife rehabber.
She will keep the squirrels until they are large enough to fend for themselves. But they won't be pets. They will stay in an enclosure with good habitat for them to thrive in. At first, they will receive kitty formula, and when they are weaned, they will eat a special squirrel feed consisting of grains and nuts. When they are ten weeks old, they will be adult size, and the rehabber will release them into the wild. She will not keep them as pets and give them cute little hats and walk them on a leash. Though I think she might stick to the names Scroungy and Scritchy.
The Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), is one of the most widespread nuisance animals in the country. It lives throughout most of the United States. It is arboreal (likes to live in trees), but just as commonly atticeal (likes to live in attics). It's a member of the rodent family, and is prone to chewing and gnawing. Squirrels are active during the daytime, particularly morning and evening. They are active year-round. They give birth to two litters of young per year, in late summer and late winter, commonly inside buildings they've chewed into. They are very agile and great climbers, and are active animals. They are cute, but often destructive, especially when they enter an attic.
Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Squirrels page for tips and advice.
Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts.
For more wildlife stories, click my Wildlife Blog or click my below banner to hire a local trapper.
As adorable and charming as squirrels may seem, keeping them as pets is not a great idea. People often see baby squirrels and compare their cuteness to one of a puppy or kitten. However, the truth is that their cuddly nature can be observed only in the youth, as the adult squirrels behave in a completely different way. In this article, we explore the nature of squirrels with the focus on the Eastern Gray Squirrel and discuss why they make bad pets.
The Eastern Gray Squirrel
This species is also often called grey squirrel depending on the region and is a type of a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus. Native to North America, the eastern gray squirrel has been widely introduced to many other places around the world – such as Europe.
Most eastern gray squirrels have grey fur but can also have a brownish color. Typically, they have a white underside and a large bushy tail. The color of the fur can also be determined by the location they live in – for example, squirrels inhabiting urban areas can often have white or black-colored fur due to the smaller number of predators.
Just like many other rodents, the eastern gray squirrel is a scatter-hoarder. This means that it hoards food in various small caches in order to recover it later in time. Squirrels are able to make several thousand caches due to their accurate spatial memory. The eastern gray squirrels are more crepuscular and they don't hibernate during winter times. This species eats a range of foods – anything from tree buds, various types of seeds, berries to acorns and walnuts.
In the wild, these rodents can be found in vast woodlands, where trees such as oaks and hickories provide them with ample food sources and plenty of space to nest. In the urban areas, grey squirrels are often seen in parks, farmlands, and gardens.
Why wild squirrels shouldn't be kept as pets
Firstly, eastern gray squirrels are solitary animals that are unsuited for living with others. Their habit of hoarding food means that they do not rely on others for food, which also influences their lack of need for companionship or protection. Squirrels are rodents with sharp nails designated to pierce bark and climb trees, which means their presence in the house can turn out to be very disastrous. The same thing applies to their sharp teeth – they will bite and chew on everything that is in their way.
One of the biggest issues with eastern gray squirrels as potential pets is their unpredictable behavior. These rodents have lots of energy and putting them in a small cage would be unacceptable.
If you find an abandoned baby squirrel, the best solution is contacting local wildlife services who can properly care for it and reintroduce it to the wild.