When it comes to weird wildlife sightings, Andrew Day of Bangor now has one for the books — four baby squirrels tangled together by their tails, and they were in danger.
Yesterday, on May 21, Day was visiting his parents’ house in Bangor when he looked out the window and something caught his eye. At first, he thought the ball of fur tumbling across the street was a cat attacking an injured squirrel. Worried about the wild animal, he ran outside to find not one but four squirrels, and they appeared to be tied together by their tails.
With his phone, he took a short video of the remarkable sight, which he posted on YouTube today.
“I took the video as a holy-cow-what-the-hell-is-this video,” Day, 41, said in a phone interview today. “I was just marveling at it.”
The video is only 28 seconds, lasting as long as it took for Day to slowly approach the entangled rodents. He then spotted a house cat nearby and shooed it off.
“I have no idea whose cat it was,” Day said. “But it was a pretty stoked cat.”
The squirrels, stuck together in such a fashion, were an easy target for any predator. The video shows them struggling to walk as a unit.
“So we got the cat away,” Day explained. “And we got the squirrels sort of collectively — as a creepy squirrel pinwheel — by a tree.”
Day and his father attempted to call Bangor Animal Control, but since it was Sunday, the office was closed. So they tried the Bangor Police Department, which instructed them to contact the area game warden.
The closest game warden reported that he would would be about an hour getting there, Day said. Meanwhile, the four squirrels were attempting to climb a tree, and they kept falling down.
“Three were going vertical, but the fourth was facing downward, so they couldn’t make any headway,” Day said.
Above the four entangled squirrels, an adult squirrel — likely their mother — perched on a tree limb making loud sounds.
“If you watch the video, you can hear her sort of screaming in the background,” Day said. “She was nearby with them, sort of escorting them across the street. When the cat arrived, she jumped up a tree and was kind of squawking the whole time.”
The two Bangor men were worried the baby squirrels would hurt themselves, so they decided to take matters into their own hands.
“My father and I took their advice in what they said they’d do, so we got them in a box,” Day said.
To usher the squirrels into the cardboard box, they used a large yard rake and placed it under the squirrels during one of their climbing attempt. Once in the box, the squirrels panicked for a few minutes, then appeared to calm down. Day assumes they were just exhausted, and possibly in a state of shock. He took the opportunity to inspect their tails — while wearing thick work gloves.
“It was like a giant dreadlock,” Day said, “intertwined with it was straw and twigs and there was some plastic.”
Day’s best guess is that the squirrels tails got tangled up while in the nest, and the debris in their tails was simply nest material. However, it’s hard to say what exactly happened.
“I got some scissors and I trimmed tail hair off the squirrels for about an hour and a half,” Day said. “It was quite the operation. I’m happy to report they were fine.”
When the game warden called back, the four squirrels were untangled and resting under a blanket in the box. The game warden instructed Day and his father to release the squirrels at the tree their mother was in. Free, the four squirrels scurried up the tree to be reunited with their mother.