Skippy the Squirrel gets new lease on life after rescue

August 10, 1991|By David Michael Ettlin

"TC You couldn't call it endangered, but it sure was cute.

A hairless infant squirrel that was attacked by crows after falling from its nest is being nursed by a human "mom" following its rescue this week by a state health department secretary in Northwest Baltimore.

The palm-sized squirrel -- named Squeaky by its rescuer, and Skippy by its nurse at the Falls Road Animal Hospital -- was about 3 weeks old when it turned up in the grass outside the home of Candy Cox on Seven Mile Lane early Wednesday.

"I was leaving my apartment to go to work around 7 in the morning. As I walked out the door there were four or five huge black crows -- some on the rooftop, a couple near the steps, one or two in the grass," said Ms. Cox, who is a secretary in the health department's licensing and certification office.

"As I kept walking, I heard this little cry . . . there was this little baby squirrel lying in the grass. His nest was all over the lawn. I could see the little red marks on his little stomach, on the little legs, where they had pecked him."

Ms. Cox said she used a small piece of paper to pick up the creature.

"I just put him in the paper and held him in my hand and he curled up. I carried him to work," she said.

She said a co-worker in the state office near Reisterstown Road Plaza also had a found a baby squirrel in distress recently, and was nursing it -- a task requiring feedings every three hours.

An inter-office alert turned up powdered milk and an eye-drop bottle and applicator, and Ms. Cox fed the orphan squirrel -- so young that its eyes had not yet opened. But Ms. Cox was unsure she could handle the obligatory feeding schedule alone.

A series of telephone calls led her to the Falls Road Animal Hospital, which agreed to take in the squirrel and asked only for a donation of $25. An envelope was passed around the office and the money was quickly raised.

Julie Frenkil, a veterinary technician at Falls Road, took over round-the-clock care and renamed Squeaky as Skippy because, she said, "he doesn't squeak much."

Mrs. Frenkil said the animal hospital has mended the wounds of an assortment of wildlife this year, including fawns, owls, hawks and a possum, but this was the first squirrel with which she had worked. She said he appeared to be healthy and might survive under human care.

She said Skippy, alias Squeaky, would be turned over to the Chesapeake Wildlife Sanctuary in Bowie and could be returned to the wild after being weaned from human care.

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