Since we thought that squirrel season was over for the time being (ha!), I had signed up to start working a regular shift at the Center again. So I happened to be there on Friday morning when we got yet another squirrel in that was quite a bit smaller (129g) than should have been out there by this time of the year. And so, of course, I brought her home with me…
The most obvious difference between a Fox and an Eastern is their colouring. The Eastern Grey is, well, grey (or sometimes black), and the Fox has a reddish coat, as you can see in these pics. It’s most obvious in her paws, her tail, and on her belly, which you can only see a bit of in the last one, which was taken as a still shot from a video (which is why the quality isn’t very good):
They also grow to be quite a bit bigger than Easterns so, at only 129g, she has a fair bit of growing to do before she can go back outside. However, you can’t raise the two species together, so I have to keep her in a separate cage while she’s here. June, our squirrel coordinator, is working to find someone else who has some Foxes more or less the same size that can take her. It’s never good to raise a single squirrel, because they’re more likely to imprint on (become too attached to) the rehabber, which will make them too trusting of humans in general—something we don’t want in wild animals!
So I don’t know how long I’ll have her. It’s definitely going to be a challenge finding another set to match her up with. In the meantime, I get to enjoy her company. Here’s a video of me feeding her. Don’t ask me what she’s doing with her legs. I had no idea that squirrels could dance a jig! (Although I guess I should have figured that with all that red hair, she must be Irish… 🙂
One last funny thing… I brought this little girl home on Friday afternoon. On Saturday morning, when I looked out in my backyard, a Fox squirrel was eating the food I’d put out for my recently released set! I’ve seen Foxes once or twice back there over the years, but they never stick around. I figure they see all the Easterns and think, yep, time to move on. But how funny that there was one there right when I took in this one!