Six Baby Squirrels Got Stuck Together by Their Tails, Demonstrating How Things Could Be Worse for You

Illustration for article titled Six Baby Squirrels Got Stuck Together by Their Tails, Demonstrating How Things Could Be Worse for You
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Are you having a bad day? A bad week? I can empathize, but please quit complaining. Last week, the executive director of Nebraska Wildlife Rehab spent an hour untangling the tails of six baby squirrels who got trapped in what the Omaha World-Herald described vividly as a “six-headed animal cluster.” Life is hard, but it would be nice if we could all take a moment to appreciate that we are not glued to our five siblings by tree sap.

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So how did this squirrel-king form?

[Laura] Stastny, executive director of Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, said their tails got stuck together because of tree sap. Then their tails became knotted as the eight-week-old squirrels wrestled around in their nest.

She said it wasn’t the first case of tangled squirrel tails her group has dealt with. The rescue group gets one such case every year or two.

Tree sap is often involved. But sometimes string ends up in a squirrel nest and that causes the tangle, Stastny said.

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It looked like “a tug of war,” Craig Luttman, who discovered the squirrels, told the World-Herald. “All were going in different directions.” So much so, in fact, that some of the squirrels will need surgery to repair their tails.

I actually was not, personally, having a bad day, but now I am!

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.

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Our little shitbox house has a picture window and we enjoy watching the squirrelnanigans. We feed them (healthy food for squirrels and not by hand) so it’s always a cute rodent party out there. About 10 days ago, one little dude showed up with a huge mass on the side his head, it like doubled the size of his noggin. You could tell he was having trouble chewing, he had lost weight, and we were stumped how to help him. He wouldn’t go in our humane trap even when baited with the squirrel version of crack: peanut butter coated Oreos. I found some antibiotic capsules prescribed to my long dead dog, googled some shit, and found out it’s used for all kind of infections for dogs and cats including abscesses. I thought “what the hell, Ol’ Swole Head will die if we do nothing” and cut up walnuts, mixed in a little water to make them damp, cracked the antibiotic capsule open and sprinkled on the meds. He leeeerved the soft walnuts, slowly and painfully eating them all. Did this for several days and dang if by last Sunday his little squirrel head was completely “unswole.” A little patch of necrotic tissue is getting smaller and his chewing is a little janky because of whatever trauma he had, but he’s zipping around wrestling with his bros. One unforeseen complication of the whole squirrel 9-1-1 episode is that he has started literally hanging from our front door knob in anticipation of his daily drug laced dose of walnuts and we’re going to have to address that. Anyhow, that’s the end of my squirrel medical drama.