March 02, 2010

Mickey The Squirrel

Myself and a fellow gardener befriended an unusual squirrel in the Autumn of 2008. Dubbed Mickey, she would hang around the garden and watch us as we worked. We would leave some peanuts in a nearby tree for her, and soon she began bringing her mate. She would stroll right up to us, place her paws on our shoes, and look up at us intently, hoping for some peanuts, while her mate watched from a safe distance. We never encouraged the squirrel to behave this way, we were happy to leave some nuts in a safe area. She would chase other squirrels away from her new territory for several hundred feet, swat at a local cat if it got to close to her, and make some pretty long distance leaps from tree to tree. Mickey was fortunate enough to avoid being the meal of a local Red-Tailed Hawk recently, but was to stubborn to let the incident go. She charged after the hawk in an attempt to protect her territory. She avoided being footed by the hawk twice, but lost her balance and fell at least 25 feet from a tree. She survived the accident with what originally seemed to be spinal damage which seemed to be healing, but it may have left her with neurological issues. Over time she seems to have completely lost her fear of everything, including being handled by people. Her top teeth may have also been damaged, making it difficult to eat. Her balance seems to be getting worse over time, and a hole in her chin caused by the unstoppable growth of her bottom teeth caused her to bleed occasionally and salivate constantly. I decided it was time to bring Mickey to a rehabilitator, so I called Bobby Horvath to see if he new anyone in the city who rehabs squirrels. Bobby recommended Carol Vinzant, so I called her and she agreed to help Mickey. Here is a link to see pics of Mickey, and read Carol's blog about having to clip Mickey's bottom teeth so she can feed   

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