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Wild Animals/what do I feed an orphaned juvenile squirrel


I recently started rehab squirrels, due to the rise in numbers of them in my area in lower Alabama. Although I am familiar with raccoons and opossums, I am new to squirrels.. I was wondering what are proper fruits, vegetables and nuts to feed them. She is approximately 8 weeks old, I am still giving her milk 3 times a day.I also have started feeding her grapes, carrots, apples and bell pepper and pecans, and pieces of tums, as suggested by vet for help in aiding in calcium.. What else could you recommend? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Dear Brenda,

While I have a lot of experience raising orphaned rabbits, hares, and cottontails, I have not raised squirrels.  However, there are LOTS of very good sites with instructions on raising them.  Here are a few:

I would certainly seek the advice of an experienced wildlife rehabilitator in your area who has experience with baby squirrels.  Getting instructions from the internet is fine for emergencies, but it's good to be mentored by someone with experience and success in this area.

I hope this helps.


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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.


I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.

House Rabbit Society

Exotic DVM journal

I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

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