Wild Animals/Squirrel Behavior


AJ wrote at 2007-10-05 14:46:27
Oct.5 2007 about 10:35am I saw a fox squirrel carry a small gray squirrel across my yard we have never seen something like that before.  Your reply was real helpful.


Kim wrote at 2009-09-16 14:37:59
So Incredible! I just witnessed a squirrel carrying another squirrel down from a nest and go up another tree to a different nest. This happened several times, right after another, I could tell that the carried squirrel was alive. I can't understand what was happening. any ideas? to me and my friend it looked like they were moving to another location, but the size of the squirrels looked the same.

Avoriaz wrote at 2012-06-01 16:04:55


I just saw the very same behavior this morning: A black squirrel was carrying a grey squirrel in its mouth as it was walking along an electric line. The grey squirrel was about the same size as the black one. It seemed dead and rigid. This would suggest it had died many hours ago, so not recently killed in a fight.

Many other passerbys were also puzzled by the behavior.

vw wrote at 2012-12-11 00:36:53
Squirrels are primarily vegetarian, non-cannibal so they would not carry it back to eat.

They have been shown to mourn a family member, by staying with it and guarding its body for a time. If it is injured and unable to move or walk, a family member will carry it to a safe place if it's too big to get to the nest, otherwise it will take it to the nest no matter how big.  

Pam wrote at 2013-04-26 14:17:14
Today I saw two swquirrels playing and as they do sometimes, they darted across the road frolicking in chase.  Unfortunately, a car approached and the latter squirrel was unable to scoot out of harms way.  As the squirrel was hit it tail flicked for the last time.  The companion stood motionless on the far side of the road and looked at it's fallen partner.  She waited until the other traffic went by, then she slowly and cautiously walked back to her companion and nuzzled it's head and stood there trying to understand what had happened.  As more cars approached the squirrel seemed indifferent.  I had to leave the scene at that time, but it sure seemed like to me that the surviving squirrel was heartbroken.  

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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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