Saved a Litter of Squirrels from Death
I'm a college student, but the story I want to share happened when I was only 13. I grew up in a very isolated area—my backyard was acres of forest—and nearby was a small campground. Its owners would let me use their beaches and nice nature trails.
One sunny day, I was walking my dog through the campground when I noticed a group of people looking into an empty fire pit. While cleaning their camper after storing it there over the winter, they found five newborn Eastern red squirrels in a drawer. The squirrels were so young their eyes and ears were still sealed shut. The wife hated rodents—so they were planning to set them on fire! I was horrified and disgusted, but I didn't let them see that. I told them I would take the squirrels and that if they did not give them up, I would have the owner of the campground call the cops on them. They gave me the little babies and a plastic grocery bag to carry them home in. I had to carry the bag just right so the squirrels didn't suffocate, all while still trying to walk a very curious puppy.
When I got home, I put the squirrels in a shoebox with a soft towel and called my grandmother. I started to cry like a baby as soon as I heard her voice. When I was finally calm enough to tell her what happened, she told me to leave them alone until she or my mom came home and they would figure something out.
Mom finally came home. She had already told me I was not allowed to bring home anything else that breathes, eats, or excretes since I had 3 dogs, 3 cats, 3 ferrets and a corn snake. I showed her the little squirrels, starting to cry again. My mom was shocked by how young they were and by the story. She called the 2 vets in our area for advice, and they told her to leave them be, that they should be dead by the next day.
I was disheartened by the news, so I decided not to listen. I did my own research. By looking at wildlife rescue websites, I determined how to feed and care for the squirrels. It was amazing to watch them grow, from the first peek of their eyes to their graduation from a bottle to baby food to solid foods.
When they reached about 8 weeks of age, I decided they were old enough to make it out in the world. I was worried, though, that I hadn't taught them everything they needed to know about being squirrels. My mom had the idea of releasing them in a park that had some captive animals, including a few deer. This way, they could steal deer food if they got hungry enough. With tears in my eyes, I watched all 5 of them climb a tree for the first time, never looking back. Years later, I heard about an old man who visits this park to feed the squirrels. I like to think that my babies made it, and those squirrels being fed are their offspring or grand-offspring.