Freeing a Curious Squirrel from a Watering Can

Maria just wanted to water her daffodils.

She grabbed her trusty watering can, but it felt different. Heavier. When she looked closer, she saw two little eyes peering back out at her. A squirrel had fallen in the can. And he didn’t seem able to get out.

Thankfully, Maria called Anderson Humane’s Wildlife Allies team, who work to humanely remove animals from people’s homes, businesses, or in this case, watering cans. “She was really surprised and didn’t know what to do,” said Ashley Kendall, Anderson Humane’s Director of Wildlife.

At first, Wildlife Exclusion Technician Cat Downs and Wildlife Operations Manager Rob Schuman tried to free the trapped squirrel on site. But the thick metal can proved to be a harder foe than they’d counted on. So they brought the entire can to our South Elgin location, where our wildlife team is housed.

Cat, Rob, and facilities manager George tried a can opener, pliers, and several other tools – all to no avail. Unfortunately, they were unable to sedate the trapped squirrel, so the animal was awake and moving around the entire time, no doubt worried about his fate.

Finally, the team was able to use a screwdriver and hammer to create a hole in the watering can big enough to free the squirrel. The wildlife team examined, stabilized, and fed him and made plans for his release back to his home environment on Maria’s property.

Even though the watering can was damaged, Maria “was really happy and thankful,” Ashley said after they let her know her surprise visitor was free. The squirrel seemed pretty pleased too. When they took him out for his release and opened the door to his carrier, he assessed the situation for a moment, then shot out of the cage in a furry blur – hopefully all the wiser about the perils of watering cans.

If you need to help from our Wildlife Allies team, contact them at 847-697-2880 ext. 53 or at [email protected]

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