Red squirrel rescue on Wooler Common
11 Jun 2019 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
A baby red squirrel is making a good recovery at a local wildlife sanctuary after being found cold and distressed on Wooler Common.
An Animal Welfare Officer from Northumberland County Council was on a routine patrol in the area when she was called over by a forestry worker who had spotted the small squirrel.
They observed it for a while on the public path and it was clearly in distress, running round and round in circles, cold and drenched right through from being in a small nearby stream.
The animal welfare officer who rescued the squirrel said:
“ We think it had fallen from its drey high up in a tree and had received a big bump. It was very disorientated and while we don’t like to interfere with wildlife, this little squirrel clearly needed help.
“I took it to a wildlife rescue centre in Blyth where it is now safe, warm and tucking into milk substitute. We hope that when he grows a little and is fully recovered we will be able to release him back where we found him.”
The area is a haven for red squirrels and local volunteers support the squirrel population by erecting and filling feeders.
John Anderson who manages Blyth Wildlife Sanctuary said:
“ The squirrel is male, around five to six weeks old, just bigger than the size of my hand and around weaning age.
“We are feeding him regularly with substitute milk but as he will be released back into the wild when he his is strong enough, we are being very careful to ensure minimal handling and it is the same person that feeds him each day, to prevent familiarity with humans.”
The squirrel may be moved to another centre to form social bonds with other rescued juveniles of the same age, otherwise he will be released back into the wild in July or August when young squirrels naturally disperse and there is plenty of food around.
“We use a soft release approach, so instead of just releasing the squirrel straight back into the wild, we form an enclosure in the woods so he can get used to the sights, sounds and smells and have access to food before he is fully released. We then keep the enclosure and food in place for a time afterwards so he can return to it if he wishes. “