Rescuers Save Five Young Squirrels With Hopelessly Entangled Tails

The lives of five young squirrels were saved after they became tangled together in their nest. Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, part of the Wisconsin Humane Society had an unusual rescue case recently, which they shared on social media.

“The tails of these five juvenile Gray Squirrel siblings had become hopelessly entangled with the long-stemmed grasses and strips of plastic their mother used as nest material, and with each other,” they explained. “A predicament that, without careful and quick intervention, would at the least cost each of these squirrels their very important tail (needed for balance and warmth), and likely their lives.”

A caring individual found the squirrels and called them for help.




“You can imagine how wiggly and unruly (and nippy!) this frightened, distressed ball of squirrelly energy was, so our first step was to anesthetize all five of them at the same time,” the rescuers wrote.

Wisconsin Humane Society

“With that accomplished, we began working on unraveling the ‘Gordian Knot’ (Google it) of tightly tangled tails and nest material.”

Wisconsin Humane Society

“It was impossible to tell whose tail was whose, and we were increasingly concerned because all of them had suffered from varying degrees of tissue damage to their tails caused by circulatory impairment.”




“Bit by bit we snipped away at the grass-and-plastic knot with scissors, being very careful to make sure we weren’t snipping anyone’s tail in the process. It took about 20 minutes to free the young squirrels. And soon after they began to recover from anesthesia.”

Wisconsin Humane Society

“Now, one day later, they are all bright-eyed, and three of the five are ‘bushy-tailed,’ but we’ll need to monitor all of them for a couple of days to watch for tail necrosis caused by impaired blood flow.”

Wisconsin Humane Society

The story of the entangled squirrels quickly went viral, but the team has made sure to keep everyone updated on their progress.

“We’re happy to report that all five squirrels are now very active and vigorous, happily eating all that we’ve offered, including nuts, seeds, and fruit,” rescuers shared. “We’re still watching their tails for potential necrosis, but at this point, we hope and expect they will all make full recoveries and will then be released into the wild.”

Wisconsin Humane Society

“We can only imagine how relieved they must feel to be free of one another, and move independently. They are thrilled to be able to climb and jump, which juvenile squirrels need for proper development at their age.”

Learn more about Wisconsin Humane Society’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

I’m so happy someone spotted the squirrels in time and got them the help they needed to survive!

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