We found this newborn squirrel in a parking lot and brought it home (obviously would have left it where it was if it was in a more safe location and wouldn't have been run over).

It was pretty lively at first but has since stopped moving much. It also goes through these periods where it looks like its gasping for air (its whole body moves to inhale).

Attached are some pictures. We tried feeding it a little bit of sugar water since its pretty hot out. It's current in a shoe box.

Pic 1

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    Call an animal rescue group and ask for advice. If you don't know of any, google. Possibly you can find a group specializing in squirrels. I can't give you practical advice beyond that. If I were in your shoes, I would take it to my vet, who is good with wild animals. Another thing to google is care of infant squirrels. Possibly someone else reading this knows what to do. I am sorry!
    – ab2
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 21:44
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    Seems like most animal rescue groups around here are full or not responding. We bought some formula specific for baby squirrels and we're keeping it in a box with some t-shirts on a heading pad for the time being until we hear back from someone. Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 23:23
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    Your cross post over on pets is much more likely to get a useful response. While it is not off topic here, it is marginal so I'll close and let your cross post be the definitive one: pets.stackexchange.com/q/32760/11584
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 11:28
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    Your Q might be reopened here, because it has been closed on Pets. I, for one, would like to know how this worked out. Your experience is valuable for people interested in the Outdoors.
    – ab2
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 19:36
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    Very young mammals only suckle, and I would think you need to feed it better than with sugary water, which has no nutritional value. Commented Aug 12, 2021 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


Very young mammals have very little chance on survival when hand reared. First of all they need specific food, secondly, they need a precise temperature, thirdly they need food round the clock at the times and in the amounts as their mothers would give it to them (and how much and at what times does depend on the species and possibly the temperatures and so on.) And the further care, like skin care, massaging to improve bowel movements, keeping clean and whatever more are also specialist work.

For any animal where the parent(s) might still be around and able to care for the little one the best option is to leave it be. Always a good option is to call a rescue center before you touch the young one, as often parents do not accept their own young if it has been handled by humans or if it has been away too long. And by the time you found it, it may have been too hot or too cold, too long without food or care and not able to survive. By taking in a very small mammal (or other wild animal) you set yourself up for disappointment.

(I have been able to see several motherless baby animals growing to adult, but in most cases ours were the only one out of the nests that were 'rescued' by good willing but wrong acting adults.)

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