Tochkovtsite (The Dots) – two baby squirrels, as small as dots.

Tochkovtsite (The Dots) – two baby squirrels, as small as dots.

The freezing and starving babies cannot be returned to their nest as was all fallen and impossible to restore as it was built on a Cyprus Tree. Potential climbing on the tree would have scared the mother off anyways, despite the fact she was helplessly looking on her babies on the pavement from the top of the tree.

The Tochkovtsi, as we immediately called them, urgently needed a foster parent, as squirrels are mammals and cannot grow up normally without being close to a parent. Not to mention that caring after a mammal does not only comprise the working hours. Foster parents were immediately found out – our volunteers – Kristina Angelova and Venelin Hristov, both studying veterinary medicine in the Thracian University, who gave them all the love and care they could.

This is how the fight for the survival of the Dots started, as such small mammals face numerous health challenges when raised by people. Diarrhea, before the organism gets used to the new type of milk, is the main problem, as the little ones can quickly dehydrate and die. This is exactly what happened to one of the female squirrels, which failed to combat dehydration and the Dots remained only two. The other problem is that these baby mammals cannot defecate on their own and this is why the mother needs to lick her babies so thoroughly after each feeding – to not only clean them but also to stimulate them to defecate, as otherwise their small guts would become blacked. You cannot imagine all the massages that our foster parents needed to do to the Dots after every single feedings, completed in 2 hours intervals. Believe us, it is not easy to raise a very young baby mammal! One starts to appreciate such seemingly ordinary things as opening an eye or peeing in a squirt, having gone through all the trouble and worries surrounding the two babies.
The poor Dots were constantly with their foster parents, under a constant care, but not too much, hoping that they will not get too attached to people and still keep their chance of returning back into the wild. They got their own names – Momi 2 and Bizhy 2, named after the squirrels the team raised last year.

The couple is very different – Momi is quiet, nice and tender and really enjoys being hugged and cuddled, while Bizhu is a young hooligan, who gets very angry if handled when he doesn’t want to be. Whenever he dislikes someone, he is ready to attack making very funny noises. We had some bad experience with him once when during a feeding he suddenly rushed and escaped. He was so determined to look around that he completely ignored our begging to come back. He just got onto a tree, jumped on the tin roof of a nearby building and disappeared. We were struck by such desperation, trying to overhear the tiny nails scratching the tin coming back and hearing nothing. He was missing for hours and it was getting dark. Our area is full of wild animals – foxes, polecats, etc. Fortunately, Venko finally found the squirrel tired by his adventures and sleeping on a tree-top. Great, yet when Bizhu sleeps, he hears nothing. It’s good that our colleagues Karney finally climbed up the tree and lured Bizhu with the milk bottle. Little Bizhu, you scared us so much!

When they started walking around too much and couldn’t be retained in the bag which suited them as a nest, Momi 2 and Bizhu 2 were accommodated in a wonderful baby pen, constructed specially by Krisi and Venko. The baby pen had a separate sleeping premise, where the two squirrels could retire after exhausting day of play and food and once withdrawn, it is very difficult to get the Dots out of there. You can shout, stamp and scratch the sleeping box, all the same… the Dots are sleeping. They even have a relevant sign on the box – Please do not disturb. The Dots.

So far the two squirrels are developing very well. We will see how they go and keep you up-dated on the faith of these two hairy dots, found their “gang” in the Wildlife Rescue Centre. Today we are expecting a third squirrel at the same age, sent from Sofia.

For more information about the Dots, please contact their parents:
Kristina Angelova

Venelin Hristov
phone: +359 885 13 88 11

Text and photoes:
Liubomila Krivoshieva – Wildlife Rehabilitator
Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre – Green Balkans
phone: +359 885 22 84 86