Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Gulliver's Travels

I was going through some old photographs and found some pictures of my little rescue squirrel, Gulliver. Gulliver was a piney squirrel that was sick and orphaned. He went everywhere with me, hence the title of this blog.

Gulliver, hungry and lost, asked to one of my students to pick him up. She put him in a shoebox and brought him to me. Poor little fellow didn't know how to feed himself, had lost most of his fur, and had lost his mum. I brought him home, put him on a heating pad, and fed him kitten milk replacer. 

This is what he looked like when I first brought him home. He had just a little fur on his face, feet and tail. Other than that, he was pretty much naked. A number of things could have caused this, including mange, fungal infections, malnutrition, etc.

I wasn't able to enlist the help of veternarians or wildlife rehabbers, so I figured I was going to feed him well. I learned how to make squirrel chow - milk whey with lots of pulverized vitamins and minerals. Later on, I offered him avocado, berries, applies, grapes, bell peppers, oranges, peas, corn, bananas, and pomegranates.

Gulliver came to me mid-November 2008. He remained hairless for quite a few months. Then one day, I noticed he was covered in a coppery fuzz. Before too long, he recovered fully and had a beautiful fur coat.

Gulliver, my little rescue squirrel, sick and orphaned.

Gulliver, with his shiny fur coat.
I kept Gulliver for about 9 months. The nights started getting cooler, so I set about acclimating Gulliver to my backyard. I set up a large cage on my back porch for him. He soon showed interest in exploring, so I began to leave his cage door open. I provided him with a nestbox high in a tree and hung a feeding tray from a cherry tree. Because he didn't know how to cache of food for the winter, I set food out for him through the winter. 

Gulliver in the winter of 2009, chowing down on avocado and raspberries at his feeding station.

Gulliver lived in my backyard for quite a few years. He always stopped and listened if I called his name. I've since moved, and the people who bought the house say they see a little red squirrel in the backyard... so it's either Gulliver or maybe one of his babies.

I love happy endings!