Release or not to release?

A place for rehabbers to consult with one another.

Moderators: Joan, Anne27, DinNorman

RescuedBy4Paws
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:17 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4

Release or not to release?

Postby RescuedBy4Paws » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:44 pm

I succesfully have rescued and released eastern grey squirrels here in the southeastern us. So after a bad storm a neighbor of mine gave me two male pink flyers back in October, Han Solo and Skywalker. I went through the rehabilitation process with them and when it was 22 weeks (because of weather permitting) I put them both in a pre release (chicken) pen outside and then after a couple nights I left the door open. Han Solo left first for two nights but then he he came back. Then both him and Skywalker then left for a night but Han Solo stayed and when I would walk out there he would jump on me and get under my clothes. This went on for a few days and then the weather got freezing again so I brought him inside. I tried several more times to put him back outside but he never left and would just jump on me when I went outside to check on him. So, I made a place for him with me. But now it’s April and his testicles have descended and he’s not interested in hangin out with me and I just want to make sure I’m doing him right. Should I try once more and place him in the wild or should I just let him hang with me? Two weeks ago he would get under my shirt and we could walk everywhere and he didn’t care. He even would see the other squirrels I’ve rescued and released come here and just sniffed and watched. I’m new to flying squirrels. What is best for Han Solo? Is he wild or is he not?

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9174
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Release or not to release?

Postby Joan » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:27 am

RescuedBy4Paws wrote:.... So, I made a place for him with me. But now it’s April and his testicles have descended and he’s not interested in hangin out with me and I just want to make sure I’m doing him right. Should I try once more and place him in the wild or should I just let him hang with me?

You can try again but if he has adopted you as his pet, he'll be back. :twisted: Flyers are funny .. most are completely happy with owning a human who fetches for them. :D

RescuedBy4Paws wrote:....Two weeks ago he would get under my shirt and we could walk everywhere and he didn’t care. He even would see the other squirrels I’ve rescued and released come here and just sniffed and watched. I’m new to flying squirrels. What is best for Han Solo? Is he wild or is he not?

Han will decide if he's wild or not, but seems to me he's already decided. They are very different from greys who tend to break down doors to get out. They are also much smarter and some decide why leave a good thing?
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

RescuedBy4Paws
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:17 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4

Re: Release or not to release?

Postby RescuedBy4Paws » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:33 am

Thank you Joan for your response. If I decide to try to release him again should I put his box and food in the chicken pen or should I just put him outside? We have two hoot owls here and those concern me. I also wonder if his more elusive behavior is due to his hormones changing. He has a tall cage (door always open) but lately he hasn’t chosen the nesting options in there. He eats and drinks and uses his silent runner and chews on the branches and stuff in there, but in the morning I have to check the various places in my room that he’s made homes in. He always sticks his nose out and licks and gives me some love, but the leaping and desiring to get under my clothes he hasn’t done in like 3weeks now. Ever since his testicles got really swollen. I was reading some other posts about their hormonal times and wondering if I’m confusing that behavior with a desire to be in the wild. People who have never had any experience in rehabbing wild animals, let alone had flyers all give me the same opinion. He’s ready to go. Just let him go. Geez. Don’t want him to have a death sentence out there cause I made the wrong decision...

johnny
Juvie Pup
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:02 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4

Re: Release or not to release?

Postby johnny » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:50 pm

I have experience with only 1 male flyer who is 3 years old in about 2 weeks.

As he matured, he went through a stage where he didn't want to go under my shirt much. This went on for a year. Then this winter he switched back and goes in all the time again. So it seems to me that what he is doing is a stage of his own maturation and not a reflection of his attachment for you.

Siggy has free run of the house and many sleeping spots, though he now has a preferred one. In general, he has gone through stages where he wanted more independence but has always remained focused on playing if I make the time for him. One game is to throttle my finger, let go, and then chase my finger around as I let it "run" around my short and top of my pants/shorts and even around my neck, and catch it again. Another is to ride me as we go to different places around the house (in the dark.) in a variation of that , we stop at spots where he plays hide and seek. Hiding never lasts more than 20-30 seconds and sometimes just a few seconds He also likes to have me hang out where he is - but other times it is clear he wants distance for 5-10 minutes, and when he is ready he comes and finds me. He also makes his own fun at night when my wife and I are sleeping, but he will often visit at night. His first first two summers he used to run under my short at night and dig hard into my skin and wake me many times a night. This year he had a lethargic period that extended from late last fall until just 2 weeks ago. He hadn't been visiting me in that time period. Now he is visiting once a night, usually before he goes to bed for the day, but not running under my short while I sleep. A couple of times he did come under the blanket and want to play the game where he throttles my finger. So - my guess is he will go through different stages with you.

If I had let him go, my guess is he would have been eaten within a few nights, although one never knows. I know where he came from, so he might have been accepted into the community because he had relatives there who knew him by his scent, and maybe he could have learned predator avoidance skills - but there was no way to do a soft release as you tried to do, so I didn't try to let him go.

RescuedBy4Paws
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:17 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4

Re: Release or not to release?

Postby RescuedBy4Paws » Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:12 pm

Thank you Johnny for your detailed reply!
Han Solo is still with me. I wouldn’t consider him a ‘pet’ but then he was never intended to be. I love him dearly and I do my very best to make sure he has a good diet and a fun life. He is cage free and seems to be very happy. I have a tiny camper I built for myself and my dog to travel in, before Han Solo, and Han Solo goes with the flow of it just fine. If we are home, he is comfortable here at home and does his nocturnal thing. If we go in the camper, he cruises there as well. He did leave the camper on two separate occasions and was gone for 26 hours the second time. I was worried sick! But he came home to the top of the camper and when I opened the door he scampered inside and that was it for him.
Back to your post Johnny, I appreciate the detail you gave. Han Solo is at times desperate to be with me, then at other long periods of times he seems content to be independent. I’ve heard of a place in Savannah Ga that will take the squirrels and rehabilitate them for release. I’m not convinced that would give Han Solo any more quality of life then he’s experiencing now. I can walk all around outside with him and he won’t leave me. Only those two times he got on top of the camper at night. But he’s shown no more interest since.
Thanks for your comments and insight Johnny. I appreciate them as they were very helpful!

Joan
Site Admin
Posts: 9174
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:30 pm
nobotspam: No
How many feet does a squirrel have?: 4
Location: Fleming Island, FL
Contact:

Re: Release or not to release?

Postby Joan » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:42 am

RescuedBy4Paws wrote:.... Han Solo is still with me. I wouldn’t consider him a ‘pet’ but then he was never intended to be.

That why we call ourselves HOFs (Human Owned by a Flyer) :twisted: They train us, not the other way around! Flyers are happy owning a human and my Chuck owned me for 15 years and I was still being trained. :D
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh


Return to “Rehabbers Retreat”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests