RIP Black Tip

Our sick squirrel friend was spotted out front, under the fig tree, around mid-day. We looked for him when we got home, but couldn’t find him until just now. At some point in the afternoon he apparently came back to our back deck, settled in his makeshift nest of leaves under the steps, went to sleep, and never woke up.

Somehow I had always assumed that he would disappear one day and not be seen again, or that we’d find him flattened by a car–but I guess he was too smart for that. It looks like what finished him off was a simple paw injury that got badly infected.

I dug a hole at the bottom of the garden, under the roots of what he always considered to be his tree. We buried him with some sunflower seeds and a couple of peanuts–and also a feather from each parakeet, symbolizing that after years of hand-feeding he was almost more of a pet than a wild animal. I made a marker from some bamboo.

So it’s finally over.

Yeah, I know, we’re crazy animal people.

On a positive note, our two local female squirrels are visiting again. One of them looks to be pregnant. Also back is Nutsy, the male with the huge nuts. Perhaps in time one of them will take over Black Tip’s territory, or maybe one of their offspring will. I don’t know that any of them will ever eat out of my hand, though.

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One thought on “RIP Black Tip

  1. )-8

    In my limited experience, squirrels socialise more readily than most wild animals, possibly because they’re pretty smart and a lot of their behaviour is conscious rather than instinctive.

    The squirrels in the Burton version of Willy Wonka were real, trained squirrels, not CGI. Back when I was young, most of the squirrels in Dulwich Park were thoroughly comfortable about humans: they’d cadge food off passers-by, even choosing arm-height branches near the paths to operate from. And in Russell Square on Wednesday, the squirrel sitting on the path just stood and watched us walk by barely a metre away rather than scarpering for safety. A lot of squirrels in London have worked out that humans generally mean them no harm.

    So I suspect the question is actually how readily squirrels build up the same rapport with humans in more sparsely populated areas once they’re already adults.

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