Thanks to a local vet in Springhill, Nova Scotia, a young squirrel survived after getting its head stuck in a bottle being used as a bird feeder.
Dr. Bonnie Harrison was dropping her two boys off at the babysitter in town when a neighbour came by with a squirrel trapped in a plastic juice bottle. There was a slit in the side of the bottle so the birds could get in. The neighbour told Harrison that she thinks the squirrel crammed itself into the bottle, then tried to go out through the neck.
Harrison, who was on her way to work at the Amherst Veterinary Hospital about 20 minutes away, decided to take the squirrel with her.
“It looked like he was trying his best to get his head out, but it had become swollen and he couldn’t get it out,” she told The Guardian Charlottetown. “He was squirming pretty good.”
When they arrived at the hospital, Harrison put the squirrel under a general anesthetic. Once he was asleep, they were able to use wire cutters to break him out of the plastic bottle.
Harrison told CBC News that the squirrel’s neck was bruised, likely from his attempts to escape, but that he was otherwise in good health. He spent the rest of the day recovering in a kennel with some peanuts, before he was brought back to the woodpile in Springhill, where he’s been seen hanging out.
She said “it was very rewarding” to see the squirrel get back to his-day-to-day routine.
Although she told reporters that she’s never seen a squirrel stuck in a bottle before, it’s definitely not the first time that something like this has happened. Squirrels, who are known to commandeer bird feeders, get stuck in them all the time. But often they’re a little easier to free.
It’s a great reminder to always keep an eye on your feeder, and avoid using carelessly made ones, which could end up doing more harm to wildlife than good.
According to reports, Harrison’s neighbour plans on using a different feeder in the future to avoid another incident like this.