A couple was at Timbavati Picnic Site in the Kruger National Park in South Africa when they heard a strange noise coming from one of the trees. At first, they assumed it was a strange bird, but upon closer inspection, they realized that a very tiny baby squirrel was hanging by its neck from a thorn. The little creature was too young to have even opened its eyes yet, and its mother was nowhere to be found. The couple, Elize and Anton Olivier, knew that they had to rescue this stranded baby if it was to have any chance at life.
According to Kruger National Park’s website, this particular type of squirrel is a tree squirrel of the scientific name Paraxerus cepapi. These little creatures are primarily vegetarian, but occasionally eat insects as well. One of the great benefits of these squirrels is that they help spread seeds around trees and large tufts of grass which contributes to tree regeneration in the areas where they live. Though they are considered arboreal, or tree-dwelling, they also spend quite a bit of time foraging for food on the ground. When they feel as though they are in danger, however, they always retreat to a more comfortable place in the trees.
Tree squirrels will have one to three babies each mating season, and have a gestation period of only 56 days. The pups won’t be fully weened until six weeks of age, but they leave the nest to find food independently after only nineteen days. The baby squirrel in this video was guessed to be around two weeks old by Elize Olivier, meaning the poor little creature was far too young to stand any chance of surviving on its own.
We were blown away to see this baby tree squirrel’s rescue and survival story. Elize and Anton Olivier were definitely in the right place at the right time to help this baby squirrel get a second chance at life. Have you ever been in a situation like this? Share your stories with us in the comments below!