Rescue

Family nurses 4-week-old baby squirrel back to health, 8 years later she still visits to thank them

January 28th, 2020

When it comes to animals, a lot of them have above-average intelligence. You look at dogs, cats, horses, elephants, and others, and they all have the ability to learn tricks. In addition to being smart, these and other animals have incredible memories. That’s something you would expect from the creatures mentioned but what about squirrels?

To a lot of people, squirrels are nothing more than pests. They get inside of attics where they can destroy insulation and wiring. They also hide pinecones and acorns under the hoods of cars. But as one squirrel proves, there’s more to them than meets the eye.

Just a baby in desperate need of help

At only four weeks old, one tiny squirrel was brutally attacked by an owl. This poor thing suffered a lot of bad injuries. Initially, no one thought she’d live. But thanks to the love and dedication of a wildlife rescue organization and a family of rehabilitators, she at least had a chance. Only time would tell.

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YouTube Screenshot/The Dodo Source: YouTube Screenshot/The Dodo

They named her Bella

This rescue organization reached out to the Harrison family. Known for rehabilitating animals, they eagerly accepted the challenge to save this tiny squirrel. First, she needed a name. So, they chose Belle. They hoped she’d heal quickly, allowing them to return her to the wild where she belonged. But this squirrel had something else in mind.

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The Dodo Source: The Dodo

She was so tiny and frail

Just weeks old in October 2009, Bella didn’t even have her eyes opened yet. Even with challenges ahead, the entire Harrison family dedicated itself to do what it could to save this sweet little girl. With years of experience working with this type of animal and already having three others in their care (Larry, Moe, and Curly), they felt confident they could help.

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YouTube Screenshot/The Dodo Source: YouTube Screenshot/The Dodo

The healing process begins

The Harrison’s placed all four of the squirrels in an outside release cage. The plan was to provide them formula, fresh fruits and vegetables, and the proper medical care needed. When the time was right, meaning the squirrels were healed and old enough, the family would let them go back to living in the wild.

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Wild Birds Unlimited Source: Wild Birds Unlimited

Initially, Bella seemed just like the other three squirrels

While in their care, nothing out of the ordinary stood out about Bella. They provided her and the other squirrels with the same food, love, and medical care. As far as they were concerned, she acted like a normal squirrel. When the day finally came in April, the Harrison family released all four back into nature. That was the end of the story…or so they thought.

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YouTube Screenshot/The Dodo Source: YouTube Screenshot/The Dodo

Then something strange yet wonderful happened

While Larry, Moe, and Curly were eager to venture out, Bella wasn’t. As Mrs. Harrison stated, “She started to come back for a treat or two within days of being released.” That wasn’t too uncommon as the others did as well. But instead of grabbing the goodie and scurrying off, Bella would stick around. When she showed up, she’d either sit at the front door or peer into the dining room window trying to get the family’s attention.

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YouTube Screenshot/The Dodo Source: YouTube Screenshot/The Dodo

Things didn’t stop there. For the past eight years, Bella still visits the Harrison family. She’ll stay for a while, eat a treat, and even cuddle up on their laps. While not necessarily a pet, Bella has very much become part of the family. They all love her and she knows it. After all, these were the people who saved her life. To thank them for all they did, she wants to maintain a relationship with them.

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The Dodo Source: The Dodo

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Source: The Dodo, YouTube

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