The BC SCPA is raising funds to help four baby squirrels who needed surgery after their tails became stuck together with sticky tree sap.
Someone found five little squirrels all stuck to the ground by their tails after the sap melted and then congealed again. A volunteer the SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre gingerly cut the squirrels loose from the grass and brought them in for help.
“It took them over an hour to carefully separate the squirrels’ tails without injuring them further — they had likely been stuck together overnight, and had tried chewing themselves free,” the SPCA said in a news release.
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Unfortunately, one of the squirrel siblings had injuries to severe to recover from, and it was euthanized at the centre.
The other four squirrels had extensive damage to their tails, and SPCA veterinarians were forced to amputate them so the flesh didn’t die and become necrotic.
“Before surgery, our senior rehab team worked closely with a wildlife veterinarian to confirm the squirrels would be able to live full lives without a portion of their tails,” the SPCA said.
As it turned out, research indicates that even though squirrels’ tails are important for balance they can often compensate to live without one.
Three of the squirrels are recovering in an outdoor enclosure to get used to a tail-less, and the fourth had complications but is expected to join its siblings soon.
“Once they are ready to thrive in the wild on their own, these squirrels will be released.”
The SPCA is asking for donations to pay for the squirrels’ food, medical supplies, medicine, enclosure upkeep, and enrichment while they recover.
So far, the SPCA has collected about $1,500 of its $3,000 goal. Donations are gratefully accepted on their website.