MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – Five squirrel siblings have been rescued in Milwaukee after getting tangled up by strips of plastic their mother used as nest material.
According to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Wisconsin Humane Society, the tails of the juvenile Gray Squirrels were rescued from what it labeled a “Gordian Knot.”
The humane society said it was “A predicament that, without careful and quick intervention, would at the least cost each of these squirrels their very important tail (needed for balance and warmth), and likely their lives.”
“You can imagine how wiggly and unruly (and nippy!) this frightened, distressed ball of squirrelly energy was, so our first step was to anesthetize all five of them at the same time,” it said.
One issue rescuers dealt with was finding out whose tail was which.
“It was impossible to tell whose tail was whose, and we were increasingly concerned because all of them had suffered from varying degrees of tissue damage to their tails caused by circulatory impairment,” the humane society said.
The process took roughly 20 minutes.
“Bit by bit we snipped away at the grass-and-plastic knot with scissors, being very careful to make sure we weren’t snipping anyone’s tail in the process,” the humane society said. “It took about 20 minutes to free the young squirrels. And soon after they began to recover from anesthesia.”
Rescuers said three of the of the five squirrels are “bushy-tailed” at the moment but they’ll need to monitor all of them for a couple of days to watch for tail necrosis caused by impaired blood flow.