Rehab Center Helps Disentangle 5 Baby Squirrels’ Tails.

Earlier this summer, a mother squirrel in Franklin, Wisconsin, used whatever materials she found lying around to build her nest. Her heart was in the right place but unfortunately for her kits, much of it was long-stemmed grasses and strips of plastic. The 5 babies ended up with their tails hopelessly tangled together.

entangled squirrels

It was 3 weeks before a Good Samaritan found them, and their mom had probably spent about half their lives trying to free their tails.

The little family was brought to the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Milwaukee. This pseudo-surgical procedure would be long and laborious, so to help move things along, all five kits were anesthetized and staff got to work.


“It was really just starting to pull on some of the things in this knot: ‘Well that’s a tail, better not pull on that. That’s plastic, snip on that with a scissors,’ ” said the director of the rehabilitation center, Scott Diehl.

gordian squirrel tail knot

It took about 20 minutes to free the first squirrel’s tail, and the rest soon followed until all the siblings were free at last!

squirrels disentangled

In an update several days later, the center reported that all five siblings

Are now very active and vigorous, happily eating all that we’ve offered, including nuts, seeds, and fruit.

We’re still watching their tails for potential necrosis, but at this point, we hope and expect they will all make full recoveries and will then be released into the wild. We can only imagine how relieved they must feel to be free of one another, and move independently. They are thrilled to be able to climb and jump, which juvenile squirrels need for proper development at their age.


Awesome work! These adorable babies wouldn’t have lasted much longer if it hadn’t been for the woman who found and brought them in.

Share to thank this Good Samaritan and Wildlife Rehabilitation staff for freeing this little family!