Baby squirrel has three mamas

It was a beautiful sunny day this Sunday past. A perfect day for a long bike ride. My partner and I decided to venture from the west end of Toronto to the East, to explore the Cabbagetown Art’s and Crafts Sale. In order to get there, we decided to go through Queen’s Park. In the center of the park, we came across a small group of people who seemed to be fawning over something. Upon taking a closer look, we realized it was a baby squirrel. He was quite taken with a young university student, by the name of Elliot. The little guy was determined to stay close to him, crawling over his shoe, or hanging onto his pant cuff. He seemed to feel best when he was curled up in the safety of Elliot’s hands.

The small group of us became all more concerned about the little squirrel’s welfare. Clearly he was alone, perhaps abandoned by his mother. After some deliberation, Elliot had to go back to his dorm. The squirrel quickly adapted to the affections of someone else in the group. Eventually the group withered down to just three. My partner and I, as well as a kind woman by the name of Tucker Finn. After the three of us attempting to feed the baby squirrel without success, It became apparent he could not be left there on his own. At that point, Tucker announced that she was going to try to take him somewhere safe. The best option given our cat Sammy would likely not adapt to an extra small quest too easily.

Given Tucker arrived on her bike, this would not be an easy task. Fatefully, she had brought with her a warm hoodie that would suite the purpose perfectly well. We turned the sweater backwards, so the hood would sit face forward. The sweet little squirrel loved his new safe home, nestled in the hood.

Tucker was on her way, but not before we came up with a name for our new little friend. We collectively decided to call him Elliot. Seemed appropriate given his first human connection. We also exchanged contact info so we could get follow up on how Elliot was doing.

Later that day we heard back from Tucker with amazing news. Upon safely arriving home with Elliot, Tucker decided to do some research. She called some wildlife people to discover baby squirrels are very hard to rehabilitate for a novice but especially hard in the absence of other squirrels. They just can’t be reintegrated with any success unless they can be around other squirrels while growing and learning. So she started looking for places she could take him where he could be looked after and have some squirrel companionship.

Luckily, she read about a place called Toronto Wildlife Centre in Downsview Park. Seemed too good to be true!!! They actually have a facility right there to care for wildlife and rehabilitate. Tucker spoke to a woman on the phone who said she already received 2 calls about Elliot!! One woman who called had said she might try to go back and find him later in the park…when she has time to pick him up. The woman at the wildlife centre said to me on the phone, “Is this the guy who was standing on people’s feet and crawling onto people’s hands at Queen’s Park?”. She referred to him as a “pant clinger”. This is a term wildlife people use to describe orphan squirrels who are approximately 2 days on their own. She said this behavior is pretty much a guarantee that he’s an orphan. So we did the right thing not leaving him there.

So, Tucker was off to deliver Elliot to his new squirrel/hotel/school. After rehabilitation, he will either be released back this season…or, if he is not ready, he will be kept in for the winter and released in spring. And here’s the best part: He has his own I.D. number so we can check on his status!

So, I write this story to recognize Tuckers kindness and compassion for another living creature. It is not often you meet someone who is happy to go out of there way to help so selflessly.

by Dayle Sheward


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Hello, my name is Dayle. I am a designer of both print & web, as well as an advocate of positive social change. My goal for this blog "Nice deeds, by nice people" is to use the internet as a tool for good. My focus is on inspirational stories about individuals, groups and organizations that are making a difference in the world we live in. Please take part in the conversations, or submit ideas for stories. By reading, getting involved and spreading the word through social mediums, you can help bring attention to the issues that we all face today.
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  1. Hi Dayle,
    Nice meeting you guys through Elliot. Nice blog!

  2. He was the cutest thing I have ever seen.

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