After baby squirrels are orphaned, wildlife rehabilitators Christina and Michael come to the rescue, caring for the animals until they are old enough to be released back into the wild. When the couple rescued Thumbelina though, the unusual squirrel decided to stick around.
After coming home from work one day, a New York City man was surprised to find two abandoned baby squirrels hidden under a pillow on his bed.
Wildlife rehabilitators Christina and Michael later told him their mother's nest was probably destroyed by nearby construction.
Although they tried desperately for hours to reunite the mother with her babies eventually they gave up a brought the two sisters home. Unfortunately, one of the babies died, but Thumbelina survived, and grew to be the most unusual squirrel the couple ever cared for.
Little Thumbelina Girl - PopSci www.youtube.com
Since Christina and Michael weren't caring for any other squirrels at the time, Thumbelina was raised alone and missed the window for socializing with her own kind. A wildlife vet told the couple that she likely would not survive in the wild. But according to Christina and Michael, that was not the only thing "different" about Thumbelina.
Thumbelina has always been a 'different' squirrel. She always progressed a bit slower. Most babies don't care for milk once they taste real food, Thumb was a giant baby with a bottle who refused to eat real food. Most babies open their eyes between 4-5 weeks of age, little Thumb waited almost 9 weeks. Most babies can't wait to jump, and climb, and be 'a squirrel,' not Thumb.
She alway preferred to walk instead of run, to sit and wait rather than climb or leap, and she only cared to play and interact with her human Mom and Dad. Even when introduced to babies when she finally opened her eyes, she wanted nothing to do with them, she'd run and hide her face in her Mommy's shirt. Thumbelina simply never developed that 'squirrel spark' - the thing that makes a baby wild, and ready to go out into world and be a squirrel. She's slower, less reactive, and HATES the cold weather. She's unique in every little way. She's simply Thumbelina.
So instead of releasing her back into the wild, Christina and Michael adopted Thumbelina, and their adorable relationship grew from there.
Now the couple share videos of life with Thumbelina on her Facebook and Instagram pages.
As their website puts it, "Thumbelina now spends her days, hanging with her Mom and Dad — playing, snuggling, and usually getting into some kind of trouble!"
While most squirrels are out gathering nuts for the winter, Thumbelina has developed a serious love for avocado.
And she even likes to play dress up, especially for Halloween.
Life with Thumbelina is an adorable adventure. No wonder people can't get enough of her.