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FDNY Saves Three Baby Squirrels

Yesterday Queens fireman Ralph Longo, was putting out a car fire and through all the smoke and fire extinguisher fog, he saw something tiny and gray move . He found four baby squirrels and pulled them out of the wreck.

One of the babies died, but the men at the Ladder 129 washed the three squirrel survivors and put them in a box with papertowels. Longo looked at the list of New York state wildlife rehabbers and called me. Then, after working all day Longo drove into Manhattan and with his girlfriend, dropped them off with me. All in all a nice piece of rescuing by the FDNY. Is there anything these guys don’t do?

Firefighter Longo and his girlfriend feed a rescued squirrel

Two have slight burns. The one boy has it the worst: a burned spot on his tail and singed whiskers. Longo’s girlfriend specializes in the care of human burn victims and mentioned that when they see a person with burnt eyebrows, they assume there’s been smoke inhalation. One of the two sisters has a burnt paw. But, they all seem healthy. They have fur, but they’re eyes are still closed, so I’d guess they’re about four weeks old. They have diarrhea–not unusual after a diet change. I put them in a cat carrier over a heating pad overnight. They were scrambling all around until I put them in this Easter basket-like box. They settled down to snuggle in these Anne Geddes-like pose.

Presumably about a month ago their mother thought she was being crafty and built a nest in the car, then yesterday she chewed some wires in some other scheme and started the fire. Longo never found the enterpreneurial mother squirrel, so I’d guess she got out fine.

Longo’s rescue of the squirrel babies will also help Mickey, the friendly, black adult female squirrel I’m treating for a malocclusion. Mickey had babies last year, Peter, the guy who brought her in from the community garden, says. The baby squirrels will do better raised by a real squirrel. Mickey, who barely comes out of her house now, will have something to do. If she ever comes out of her house and finds them. So far she has studiously ignored them. When she comes out to eat I’ll repossess her house and –with some supervision–see if she has any interest.

Where to Go to See Unusual Squirrels


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