Written by Donna Ann Armentrout of Missouri (USA)
I was driving home from work one day with my son. As we passed a squirrel that had been hit on the road and was presumably dead, I glanced in my rearview mirror and thought I saw him twitch. I immediately pulled over and walked back to the squirrel lying in the middle of the road. Sure enough, he was still alive. And with every passing car, moved ever so slightly with what little life he had left in him. I knew from past experience — my younger brother having been bitten by an injured squirrel and going through the rabies shot series — how dangerous it was to try to rescue this poor little guy.
I Couldn’t Leave Him in the Road
But I couldn’t just leave him in the middle of the road, panic-stricken. I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through his mind at the time, lying there helpless in the middle of the road, cars whizzing by him. I was fearful that one of the passing cars would run him over. Granted, that would have put the poor little guy out of his misery, but I couldn’t bare the thought of that happening. I went back to my vehicle and found a couple of cardboard boxes I had intended to used to pack some stuff in. I broke one of them down to use as a scoop. I slid the broken-down box under the poor little guy and slid him gently into the other box. He only thrashed around a little bit since he was in such bad shape. It was late and the vet was closed. And since the last squirrel I had tried to save died during the night at the vet’s office, I just figured that was this poor little guy’s doom also and my best option was to take him home and let him pass in peace. So I fixed up a carrier with paper, leaves, grass, sticks, water and peanut butter. The peanut butter is why my son decided to call him Skippy.
One Tough Squirrel
He didn’t pass away. Instead, with each passing day, he got better and more rambunctious. Within a week, he was bounding all over the carrier, good as new except for the crooked kink in his tail where it had been broken. I told my son it was time to release him. He didn’t want to. He wanted to keep him as a pet. I explained to him that wild animals were not meant to be in captivity and that trying to do so would probably kill him and that with all we went through to save his life, him dying was the last thing we wanted.
He didn’t like it, but understood what I had explained to him. We opened Skippy’s cage door. He hesitated for a moment, ran out of the cage, stopped halfway across the yard and looked back at us. Then he ran on top of the fence and took one more look back before leaving.
But he never really left; not for years to come. Skippy hung out in our backyard all the time. How do we know? Sure all squirrels look pretty much alike. But not many that visit on a regular basis have a broken tail! Skippy was blessed with a second chance. See photo of Skippy
The Great Animal Rescue Chase
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