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

Just Posted

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Island’s daily COVID-19 case count drops below 10 for just the second time in 2021

Province reports 8 new COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island Wednesday

Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Campbell River dock fire spread slowed thanks to security guard

Creosote docks pose challenges for fire fighters

Scenes like this one in the dugout are all too frequent for parents and kids arriving to play baseball at Nunns Creek Park these days, spurring a request to the city to let them move to the Sportsplex in Willow Point. Photo from CRMB presentation to City of Campbell River
Safety concerns run Campbell River Minor Baseball out of Nunns Creek Park

Parents say ‘needle and feces sweeps’ have become part of everyday life for the baseball community

The cover of the newly redesigned Beaver Lodge Forest Lands activity guide. Photo courtesy Greenways Land Trust
Greenways redesigns Beaver Lodge activity guide

Guide has helped teach students for over a decade

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a general pathologist at the North Island Hospital Campbell River Hospital Medical Laboratory, spoke about the issue of service in the region at a meeting in February 2020. Black Press file photo
Comox Strathcona hospital board wants pathology service back

Board supports move for chair, vice-chair to engage with Island Health on issue

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Saanich police and a coroner investigated a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal Greater Victoria crash

Driver who died veered across centre line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Most Read