11 November 2007

In Memoriam

I don't ordinarily hang onto squirrels when they come into my care. A rehabber's job is to prepare an animal for return to the wild. But 9 years ago, after at least 3 failed attempts to get one male squirrel acclimated to living in the wild, we had to concede he wasn't going to make it out there on his own. He was somehow not communicating well with the others - just didn't play well with other squirrels, was always getting beaten up and, frankly, preferred the comforts of a hammock and a modest-sized cage.

He stayed with us, in our care, after we healed up his wounds from being attacked by other squirrels in the wild - and Mr. Friendly became a fixture, and a true friend, until the morning of Nov. 6, 2007, when I found him at the bottom of his cage, dead. He seemed healthy, active and vibrant right up until that morning and so it's not clear whether it was just his time.

Regardless, we miss him terribly. I have created a video montage for him at OneTrueMedia, to help me remember him and to share a squirrel who was, in every way, larger than life.

Click here to view Mr. Friendly's video.


Anonymous said...

Aww, he was a cutie.

jackieintampa said...

I still have my first squirrel, I was selfish and ignorant, and insisted he was my pet.Well almost 6 years later,he is my pet. I have since learned the true beauty is the squirrel getting back home to the trees. Rocky and I have helped alot of pinkies and furballs grow, heal and go home, and we take care and love the "MR. Friendly's". I'm sorry for you loss. Sweet! Both you and the memoriam!

squirrelmama said...

Jackie, your kind words mean a lot to me, and thank you for stopping by to read about Mr. Friendly and to tell me about Rocky. I think keeping a squirrel is an innocent enough mistake and as a rehabber I have taken on more former pets than I can count. Some of them adapt to the wild after 2 years, many of them don't. Friendly's issues went deeper, sorry to say. He was released at the proper time a young squirrel should be released but he somehow didn't relate to more than one squirrel (his cagemate, Silas Marner) and he was definitely too curious about people and the outside world. Our failed attempts to release him were sad but he did adapt well to captivity. I wish he had lived longer.
I am thankful Rocky has instilled such a love and respect in you for squirrels, and it sounds like you care deeply for him. I hope and pray you give one another many good years together.