Veterinarians save Wisconsin squirrel siblings with entangled tails

- Five juvenile Gray Squirrel siblings have a new lease on life this week after someone discovered them with their tails entangled and helped them receive veterinary attention.

According to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at the Wisconsin Humane Society, the five squirrels had their tails tangled together with long-stemmed grasses and strips of plastic their mother used as nest material.

Without the passerby’s quick-thinking, the Rehabilitation Center said they would likely have lost their tails that are crucial for balance warmth. They also may have lost their lives.

When the squirrels arrived, the Humane Society said they were “unruly” and “nippy” as they were frightened. Doctors at the Rehabilitation Center anesthetized all five squirrels and began unraveling what they called a “Gordian Knot” of tightly tangled tails and nest material.

All of the squirrels sustained some degree of tissue damage to their tails, but the veterinarians kept snipping with scissors for about 20 minutes before the young squirrels were freed.

Soon after the procedure, they began to recover from anesthesia.

The squirrels are being monitored by the Rehabilitation Center’s staff to watch for tail necrosis that can be caused by impaired blood flow.  

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