02 October 2008

Flying squirrel's slow progress

The injured flying squirrel in India is back in the news today. I am not sure whether it is progress that the veterinarians are reporting, or just the certainty of a diagnosis.

But they have arrived at the conclusion that there is definitely spinal fracture in this little fellow. Here in the States, a squirrel with a spinal fracture is usually euthanized, a tragic but often necessary outcome if the animal cannot use its own limbs or eliminate on its own. In the case of this rare Indian squirrel, there is some movement of the tail, which is a very good sign indeed. Even if he cannot go back into the wild, perhaps he can nonetheless be saved.

The vets, meanwhile, are monitoring his case closely.

So are we. We will continue to check in on him and think good thoughts.


Shannon & Alex said...

While in SC this fall, we saw a gray squirrel carrying what appeared to be a full sized gray squirrel in its mouth. We can't figure out why? Would you have a clue? Do they carry off their dead, not that I'm convinced it was dead.

squirrelmama said...

What you've described is exactly the way a mother squirrel carries her young. The squirrel will be in momma's mouth, with the tail wrapped behind momma's neck, and off they go - up a tree and into the nest. Mom uses this method to transport babies to another nest and yes, sometimes will even do this when the babies are 5 or 6 weeks of age, when some of them can be much larger than typical "baby" size. Likely you saw a momma squirrel doing this with an older juvenile who may have looked like an adult. Eastern grays aren't known for moving dead adults (or dead youngsters, for that matter).