18/04/2024

Teen Sᴀᴠᴇs Three Orphaned Baby Squirrels After Hurricane Ida Dᴇsᴛʀᴏʏᴇᴅ Their Nest

Hurricane Ida sᴛʀᴜᴄᴋ the state of Louisiana and ᴅᴇᴠᴀsᴛᴀᴛᴇᴅ the ʟɪᴠᴇs of millions of residents. With wind gusts of up to 172mph and heavy rain thrashing down on the area, it’s not only people who suffered due to the storm—many animals were also displaced. When 15-year-old Bailee Villavaso and her family were evacuating the city, the teenager spotted a squirrel’s nest on the ground that had been blown down from a tree. Inside were three baby squirrels, with no mother to be seen.

Villavaso knew she had to help. She ran home and got a box and a towel before coming to the ʀᴇsᴄᴜᴇ. “I dried off the squirrels with the towel and put them in the box with bedding,” Villavaso said. “The squirrels were extremely lethargic, and huddled up to stay warm.”

But she didn’t stop there… Villavaso contacted a veterinarian to learn about how to feed and take care of the squirrel babies. She became their official adoptive mother. Villavaso named them Alvin, Simon and Theodore.

“Once the squirrels had eaten, they started to gain energy. After about 24 hours, they perked up enough to run and play,” Villavaso said. “The squirrels started climbing and running on me.”

When Villavaso evacuated her home, she took the squirrels with her, keeping them safe, and clearly, the squirrels appreciated her.

While they’re all happy together right now, Villavaso knows it’s best for them if they have the guidance and help of a professional wildlife rehabilitator. As she explained to The Dodo, she contacted some animal rehabbers but hasn’t found any with space to take in more squirrels. Many of the animal rehabilitators are overwhelmed with wildlife from the hurricane.

“I have reached out to some animal rehabbers, but was told they were overwhelmed with squirrels after the hurricane,” she said. “I will continue to reach out to animal rehab centers.” Until then. These cute squirrels look pretty happy and settled in their temporary home.

Thankfully, it seems like she’s doing a great job at being their mother in the meantime.

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