By Vet Tech Lesley Castillo
A nice woman found Nikki the squirrel in her backyard. He was an orphaned baby, old enough to be on solid food, but not old enough to be completely without milk. She brought him to Big Bear Alpine Zoo so that we could properly care for him.
She loved him very much and donated 100 dollars to our facility! I bottle fed Nikki for 2 days. By the end of the second day, he refused the bottle and was ready to lap milk up from a dish. He remained on milk along with solid foods for several more weeks. As Nikki grew older, he became a very healthy, rambunctious, and agile squirrel! Once he finally reached a solid weight of 350 grams and showed that he could climb like a pro, Nikki was released back into the wild, very near where he was from. When I let Nikki out of his crate, he ran right up a tree and I watched him as he took in his new surroundings. He gazed off into the distance and he sniffed the air! He was free and strong! As I started to leave, Nikki chattered at me, as if to say "thank you."