Some baby squirrels were rescued by a member of the public and the BC SPCA’s Wild ARC.
According to the shelter, the siblings became stuck together by sticky tree sap that melted in the heat.
A kind member of the public found the five siblings sticking to the ground, unable to free themselves.
Luckily, one of Wild ARC’s volunteers was nearby and came to the squirrels’ rescue by carefully cutting them free from the grass and bringing them in for care.
The BC SPCA said it took over an hour to carefully separate the tails without injuring the creatures any further.
The squirrels had likely been stuck together overnight, and had tried chewing themselves free.
“The squirrels were exhausted and stressed after their ordeal, and were kept warm and in a quiet place to allow them to stabilize before full exams were performed to fully assess the extent of their injuries,” said the BC SPCA.
Unfortunately, one of the squirrels had injuries that would not have healed, and was humanely euthanized to prevent further suffering.
“The others all had extensive damage to their tails. Blood flow was severely affected, and their tails would unfortunately become necrotic if they were not amputated,” the BC SPCA explained. “The squirrels were put on specialized care for a few days to ensure they were stable and healthy enough to undergo surgery.”
“While squirrels use their tails to help balance themselves, they can adapt well to compensate for the loss of their tails when necessary.”
Now recovered from the surgery, three of the squirrels were recently moved to an outdoor enclosure to practice navigating and foraging on their own.
“The fourth squirrel had some complications but we are optimistic that this little squirrel will join its siblings outside soon,” they added.
“Being in their outdoor enclosure is providing the squirrels with time in a safe space to learn how to move, climb and navigate their surroundings in a slightly different way than they are used to.”
Once they are ready to thrive in the wild on their own, these squirrels will be released.