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

Photo: Surrey RCMP
Surrey RCMP arrests two boys, age 16, during dial-a-dope investigation in Whalley

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said one boy is ‘alleged to have been in possession of a loaded handgun at the time of his arrest’

A barrel racer is seen at the Cloverdale Rodeo. (Photo courtesy Cloverdale Rodeo)
Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair postponed until later in 2021

Rodeo president say both public safety related to the pandemic and the removal of border restrictions will determine new date

A proposed multi-family, multi-building development in east White Rock was the subject of a public hearing Monday evening. (City of White Rock image)
Pros and cons of White Rock housing development debated at virtual public hearing

Affordable housing need, traffic concerns among reasons cited for and against Beachway project

The new Phoenix Flame BBQ truck serves as a “Mobile Community Kitchen” in the Surrey area. (Photo: phoenixsociety.com)
New ‘Phoenix Flame BBQ’ truck now mobile with food for Surrey’s ‘hard-to-reach populations’

Also launched: Another Surrey Honda Raffle to help the Surrey-based agency and others

Teachers at Maple Green Elementary in Surrey stage a walk-in before school on Wednesday (March 3, 2021), as Fraser Health continues to announce variant exposure cases at Surrey schools throughout the district. (Submitted photo: Julia MacRae)
Surrey Teachers’ Association calls for district-specific COVID-19 safety measures

STA holds third and fourth walk-ins after multiple COVID-19 variant exposures

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

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

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Emergency crews are on scene at Walnut Grove Secondary School after a report of a bomb threat at Walnut Grove Secondary School on March 3, 2021. The school was safely evacuated. (Shane MacKichan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: Bomb threat forces evacuation of Langley high school

Police asked the public to avoid 88th Avenue and Walnut Grove Drive

Most Read