One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)

Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

A handful of Eastern Grey Squirrels are learning to live a tail-less life at the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) after getting their tails stuck together with tree sap earlier this month.

According to Wild ARC in Metchosin, a member of the public found a group of five sibling squirrels that were stuck to the ground and each other, unable to free themselves. A Wild ARC volunteer cut the animals from the grass and brought them into the facility for care.

READ ALSO: Wild ARC rehabilitates 77 raccoons over the summer

The distressed squirrels, which had likely been stuck together overnight, had tried to chew themselves free. It took Wild ARC’s rehab team more than an hour to separate the tails without injuring the animals further.

Once separated, the animals were kept in a warm quiet place to allow them to stabilize before exams could be performed to fully assess the extent of their injuries. One of the squirrels was euthanized to prevent further suffering as the rehab team found the tail would not have healed.

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Wild ARC)

Wild ARC said the others had extensive damage to their tails. Blood flow was severely affected and their tails would become necrotic if they were not amputated.

READ ALSO: Victoria man angered after Wild ARC euthanizes squirrel

For the next several days, the squirrels were put on specialized care to ensure they were stable enough to undergo surgery.

For three of the squirrels, Wild ARC said the surgery went well. These squirrels recovered quickly and have since been moved to an outdoor enclosure where they can practice navigating and foraging on their own, without tails.

The fourth squirrel had some complications, but Wild ARC is “optimistic” it will be joining the others outside in the near future.

Prior to the surgery, members of the senior rehab team worked with a wildlife veterinarian to make sure the squirrels would be able to live a full life without tails. The team found that after long discussions and further research, there was evidence to suggest it is possible.

Squirrels use their tails to balance but they are able to adapt and compensate for the loss when needed.

The three squirrels in the outdoor enclosure are now in a safe space where they can relearn how to move, climb and navigate their surroundings. Once they’re ready, the animals will be released back into the wild.

To make a donation to help Wild ARC cover the cost of care for these animals visit bit.ly/3dMDYfN.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Wild ARC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File image)
Break-in suspects arrested after foot pursuit by Kelowna RCMP

Two men have been charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000, and breach of a court order

Kate Pauling selling her cookies. (Contributed)
Kelowna newspaper carrier spreads joy to children in need

Kate Pauling fund-raises for Samaritan’s Purse Shoe Boxes

Ashley Stone’s Village App is one of the semi-finalists for the Total Mom Pitch. (The Village App - Facebook)
Kelowna mom’s app semi-finalist in Canada’s Total Mom Pitch

Ashley Stone is developing an app called Village, a community-based messaging platform where people can ask for and offer help

Business district is pictured during a traffic jam in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Morning Start: By 2050, 95 percent of North Jakarta could be submerged

Your morning start for Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UPDATE: Garage on Lakeshore Road burns to the ground, blaze deemed suspicious

Fire crews responded to the scene just after 4:30 p.m.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

The Vernon Public Art Gallery is looking to the community to support its programming, which VantageOne Credit Union is matching for Giving Tuesday. (VPAG image)
Vernon art gallery gets a boost for Giving Tuesday

VantageOne Credit Union matching donations

The Vernon swimming pool is closed Friday. (morning star file photo)
Swim, skate and play fees rise 5% in North Okanagan

Weekend hours also reduced as rec centre struggles with fewer people and fewer funds

The City of Salmon Arm erected a fence around the Ross Street Plaza on Nov. 24/2020, citing reasons centering on safety and security due to camping by people who don’t have homes. The closure is temporary but it’s not known when it will be reopened. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon Arm erects fence around public plaza to prevent camping

Lieutenant says lack of public space affects people without homes but he understands city’s decision

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Interior Health and School District 83 are responding to a confirmed COVID-19 exposure at the Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan campus

School District 83 says member of school community self-isolating at home

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gord Portman has been reunited with his dog Zippy after reaching out to the community for help covering the cost of Zippy’s surgery. Zippy had successful mouth surgery Nov. 19, 2020 and has made a full recovery since. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton rallies to save dog’s life

Gord Portman reached out to the community to help with the cost of his dog’s surgery

Most Read