Hello, Squirrel Friends! Welcome back to our blog. We are going to put together a list of Twiggy’s 10 most frequently asked questions! Let’s get started!
Is it a real squirrel?
Yes! We have 3 squirrels in total. Somedays it feels like we have 20. Twiggy VIII is 11 years old and is retired with LouAnn. Twiggy IX is almost 6 years old and Twiggy X is 8 months old.
How do you catch a squirrel?
We don’t catch our squirrels. We are licensed rehabilitators and all of our squirrels are rescues. We have various people call us when they’ve found a baby squirrel and we try to take them in, rehabilitate them and then release them back into the wild. The squirrels that become Twiggys are often non-releasable.
Is it hard to teach a squirrel how to water ski?
Yes, it is extremely hard to teach a squirrel how to water-ski. It takes a lot of patience. They have an extremely short attention span (like Sydney) and they have to practice consistently or they forget (also like Sydney.) We practice for about ten minutes at a time and then we give them a ten minute break for about an hour a day.
How long does it take to train a squirrel?
It can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to train a squirrel to water ski. Twiggy X has been skiing for 6 months and she still has her moments. She loves to drive the boat with her Miss Geico Geckos. Her squirrel leap is a crowd favorite.
How long do they live?
According to the internet, in the wild, squirrels live an average of 19 months. This is due to urbanization and natural predators. In captivity, some rehabilitators have had their squirrels for up to 13 years. Twiggy VIII is currently 11 years old. We say on average they can live anywhere between 10-13 years. That’s anywhere between 50-65 squirrel years! (The internet told us that 1 human year = 5 squirrel years)
What kind of squirrels are they?
They are Eastern Gray Squirrels. Nine out of the Ten Twiggys were rescued from Florida and they have all been Eastern Grays. Their fur does turn slightly red in the winter and they are sometimes mistaken for Fox Squirrels.
Are they friendly?
Do squirrels eat nuts? Yes, they are extremely friendly and they love to play. Our squirrels love kisses, snuggles and pets. We very often spend a good deal of our morning petting them until they wake up. Like any other animal, they can get grumpy at times. They are usually hangry (same, squirrels, same) or tired and we let them be.
What do they eat?
Our squirrels eat a mixture of veggies and unsalted nuts. We feed them pistachios, walnuts, peanuts and pecans in the morning. Then, they eat sugar snap peas, broccoli or cauliflower and grape tomatoes for dinner. They also love blueberries, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, but we save those as special treats.
Do they make good pets?
This may be one of the hardest questions we get asked. The technical answer is no. They are very difficult to care for and require constant attention. They use the restroom wherever and whenever they want and they very often eat your most expensive electronic cords (R.I.P. Macbook charger.) Squirrels are often EXTREMELY hard to catch. You could spend 2 minutes or 2 hours trying to find and catch them (Twiggy X is the QUEEN of hide and seek.) On the other side, we love our squirrels to death. They are our babies and we spoil them. Sydney makes each squirrel special meals based on their preferences and Elizabeth cleans out their cages and makes sure their fleece blankets are keeping them warm. If you do find a squirrel, please contact your local rehabilitator.
Can they swim?
Nobody believes us when they hear our answer, but when they see it for themselves, they are astounded. Yes, squirrels are naturally great swimmers. We do not teach our squirrels how to swim, they just have that natural instinct. Twiggy X loves the water and she will sometimes jump in on her own! We like to think she looks like a little baby otter. We have also heard stories of hunters sitting in their deer stands, looking out over the river and seeing squirrels jump from their tree straight into the water!
And there we have it! The 10 Most FAQ’s about Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel. If you have any other questions about Twiggy or her team, comment below and we will try to answer them on our next #TwiggyTalkTuesday. Until next time squirrel friends!