Squirrel Watch: The Homecoming

Last Thursday I brought my first set of squirrels back home from the Wildlife Center and released them. Yay!

I actually got a bonus squirrel out of the deal. I had been down at the center a couple of days earlier. When I checked out the enclosure, I was quite surprised to see a black squirrel running around with my guys. What probably happened was that s/he escaped from one of the other enclosures and whoever caught him/her didn’t know which one s/he came out of. Oh well, no such thing as too many squirrels in my mind! 🙂

My volunteer colleague Carla came with me to the center, where the gang had already been caught and placed in two small release cages. We brought them straight back to my house and placed the cages on the lawn, facing some trees and a bowl of water. I also spread some food out for them so they wouldn’t have to go too far afield at first to find some.

Then I lifted the front panels to let them take their time to come out on their own. Well, four of the six ran out almost immediately, but one in each cage wasn’t quite ready, so I had to do a little coaxing.

Here’s a short video of the experience.

So everything was going along just fine, until… I was taking the t-shirts into the garage to put them in the laundry, when I was startled by something jumping right in front of me. Yep, at some point, a couple of the squirrels must have noticed the inviting interior and decided to check it out. Which would have been fine with me until I suddenly remembered I had some set mouse traps up in the rafters from a problem I was having a couple of years ago. Yikes!

I was glad I had Carla with me because, between the two of us, we were able to handle the situation. First of all, I got a broom so I could block the squirrels from the traps and then used the handle to trip them. Then I remembered my pool skimmer, which we could use as a net to try to catch the little rascals. Unfortunately, they were still too fast for us to actually trap them, but our efforts managed to get them to run back out into the yard. And that’s when I started breathing again… 🙂

So the release turned out to be a little bit more of an adventure than I had been expecting, but once everything was settled down, I could enjoy watching the squirrels start to get to know their new home. Yay!

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