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A feelgood Friday story to end this week's news.

Scottish SPCA rehabilitates and releases youngest red squirrels in area of conservation - Scottish SPCA

We have released five red squirrels that came into the care of our National Wildlife Rescue Centre when they were just hours old.

We were handed the newborns by a member of the public after their nest was suspected to have been blown out of a tree in Fife on 29 July.

red squirrel looking at the camera over a rotten branch.
Red Squirrel (Nadia Tighe/Pixabay)

The squirrels weighed just 12 grams each when they arrived and required hourly feeding. Animal care assistant Juanita Zaldua took on the mammoth responsibility of providing the kits with round-the-clock care.

Juanita said, “It was touch and go for a while, we weren’t sure if they were going to make it. Kits that young should be with their mum and require dedicated specialist care. I had to feed them every hour, even through the night, for the first three weeks. In the third week they opened their eyes which made the sleep-deprivation worthwhile! They continued to stay with me while I hand-reared them. Once they had weaned at around nine-weeks, they were strong enough to go out in to the aviary where they learned to interact and play. We recently released them in an area of the Highlands where conservationists are trying to increase the population of red squirrels. We were all very sad to see them go but it was so rewarding to be able to raise them and watch them be released back to their natural habitat. I was like a proud mum watching her babies enter the big wide world! The environment they now live in has nest boxes, support feeding and they are being monitored as we get closer to the colder months. We were over the moon to be sent footage of our squirrels jumping from tree to tree and feeding well.”

Posted on: 30 October 2020

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