Pulaski County Animal Services: 501-603-9439
Christopher McCall: 501-772-9273
Arkansas Wildlife Commission: 800-440-1477
Little Rock Police Department: (501) 371-4605
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What should I do if I find an orphaned baby squirrel wandering about?
Baby squirrels sometimes stray from their dens while their mother is asleep. If you see a baby squirrel wandering, you should not assume that it is orphaned. Secure the baby in an enclosed area such as a cardboard box and wait for at least 8 hours or more for the mother to find its baby. If there is no sign of the mother after this time, then you can safely assume that the baby is orphaned. Squirrels usually have between 4 to 8 babies at one time and they are very good mothers so it is hardly likely that they would abandon their spawn. Here are a few things you can do when you have determined that the baby squirrel is orphaned:
• Contact the authorities
There are organisations that are in charge of the wildlife. Contact them immediately so that they can pick up the baby squirrel. These organisations would rehabilitate the baby until it can be released into the wild. However, because mothers are the ones who teach the baby how to survive in the wild, it is very unlikely that they would release the baby, for safety reasons. In any case, they would know what to do and give you some advice before they come for the squirrel.
• Warm the Baby
Squirrels are mammals and are therefore warm-blooded creatures. When you pick up the baby, you can feel whether it is warm or cold. If the baby is cold, place it on some warm towels and fill up a hot water bottle or soda bottle with warm water. Place it in the same vicinity of the baby but not touching it, just close enough so that the heat can radiate and warm up the squirrel.
You would not know exactly how long the baby has been abandoned so you would not know if it is dehydrated. For this reason, it is best to feed the baby Pedialyte, the same kind used by human toddlers. You can make homemade Pedialyte using one cup of water and one pinch each of salt and sugar. Mix the liquid thoroughly until all the particles are melted and try using warm water for this. Use a small spoon or dropper to drop the solution on the tongue of the squirrel. Do not let the squirrel latch on to the tool you are using because this can cause aspiration.
Baby squirrels cannot drink the same milk humans drink. You can use milk replacers such as the powder milk replacers used for puppies or other animals. Use hot water and mix one-part powdered milk to two-parts water. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for at least two hours. You can also use vanilla ensure as a substitute if you cannot find the milk replacer. Warm the solution and administer it using a small spoon or dropper. Do not use it cold or too hot and do not feed it as though you would feed a baby with a bottle to avoid chocking the squirrel.