Squirrels are adorable creatures that we often see scurrying around in parks or on the side of the road. Unfortunately, they are also one of the most common animals that get hit by cars. If you happen to come across a squirrel that has been hit by a car, it can be challenging to know what to do.
This article will provide you with some helpful tips on what to do if you find a squirrel that has been hit by a car.
Assess The Squirrel’s Condition
The first thing you need to do when you come across a squirrel that has been hit by a car is to assess its condition. Determine whether the squirrel is alive or dead. If the squirrel is alive, check for any injuries.
If the squirrel is dead, there is not much you can do. You can move the squirrel off the road to prevent it from getting hit again or becoming a hazard to other animals or cars.
Before you attempt to help the squirrel, it is essential to protect yourself. Wear gloves to avoid any potential bites or scratches, and be cautious of other animals that may be in the area.
If you are near a busy road, make sure to wear high-visibility clothing and be mindful of traffic.
Contact A Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
If you determine that the squirrel is alive and injured, the next step is to contact a wildlife rehabilitation centre. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action, whether it’s bringing the squirrel in for treatment or providing instructions on how to care for it until help arrives.
It is important to remember that squirrels are wild animals and should not be kept as pets. The goal should always be to release them back into the wild once they have recovered from their injuries.
Provide Temporary Shelter
While you are waiting for help to arrive, you can provide temporary shelter for the squirrel. Place the squirrel in a cardboard box with air holes, and line the box with a soft cloth or paper towel.
Keep the box in a warm, quiet place away from any other animals or disturbances. Do not attempt to give the squirrel food or water as this can cause further harm.
Provide Basic First Aid
In some cases, you may need to provide basic first aid to the squirrel before help arrives. If the squirrel is bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or bandage.
If the squirrel has a broken limb, gently immobilize the limb with a splint or wrap it with a cloth. Be sure not to wrap the limb too tightly, as this can cause further damage.
Transport The Squirrel Safely
When help arrives, you may need to transport the squirrel to the wildlife rehabilitation centre. Handle the squirrel gently, using a towel or cloth to prevent any further injury.
Place the squirrel in a well-ventilated cardboard box and keep it away from any heat sources such as direct sunlight or car heaters.
Finding a squirrel that has been hit by a car can be distressing, but there are steps you can take to help. Assess the squirrel’s condition, protect yourself, contact a wildlife rehabilitation centre, provide temporary shelter, provide basic first aid, and transport the squirrel safely.
Remember, squirrels are wild animals and should always be released back into the wild once they have recovered from their injuries.
- Can I keep the squirrel as a pet after it recovers?
No, squirrels are wild animals and should not be kept as pets. The goal should always be to release them back into the wild once they have recovered from their injuries.
- What if I can’t find a wildlife rehabilitation centre?
If you are unable to find a wildlife rehabilitation centre, contact your local animal control or animal shelter who may be able to assist you.
- Can I feed the squirrel while I wait for help to arrive?
No, do not attempt to give the squirrel food or water as this can cause further harm.
- How can I prevent squirrels from getting hit by cars?
Be mindful when driving, especially in areas where squirrels are known to be active. Reduce your speed and keep an eye out for squirrels crossing the road.
- What should I do if I hit a squirrel with my car?
Stop your car and assess the squirrel’s condition. If the squirrel is alive and injured, follow the steps outlined in this article to provide it with the necessary care and seek assistance from a wildlife rehabilitation centre.