Squirrels are small, furry rodents found in many parts of the world. “Can squirrels die from falling?” They are known for their agility and acrobatic abilities, which allow them to climb trees easily and jump from branch to branch. But what happens when a squirrel falls from a great height?
The answer is yes, and squirrels can die from falling. While squirrels are incredibly agile and can survive falls from great heights, they can still suffer serious injuries or even death if they fall too high. In this article, we will explore the risks of falling for squirrels, the potential injuries they can suffer, and how to prevent falls from happening in the first place.
How High Can Squirrels Fall From?
Squirrels are agile and acrobatic animals known for their ability to climb, jump, and run with incredible speed and agility. They are also capable of falling from great heights without suffering significant injuries. However, the exact height that a squirrel can fall from without harm depends on several factors, including the species of squirrel, the terrain it falls on, and the age and health of the animal.
The gray squirrel is one of the most common types of squirrels found in North America. These squirrels are known to live in trees and are excellent climbers. They are also known for their incredible ability to jump from one tree to another, covering distances of up to 20 feet in a single leap.
Gray squirrels can fall from a height of up to 100 feet without serious injuries. However, it is essential to note that the terrain they land on can significantly affect their survival rate. For instance, the impact can be fatal if a squirrel falls on a hard, flat surface such as concrete or asphalt.
On the other hand, if the squirrel falls on a softer surface such as grass, leaves, or snow, its chances of survival are significantly higher. Another factor that affects a squirrel’s ability to survive a fall is its age and health. Young squirrels that have not yet developed their coordination and motor skills are more susceptible to injury from falls. Similarly, older squirrels that have weakened bones or other health issues are also at a higher risk of suffering severe injuries from falls.
What Injuries Can Squirrels Suffer From Falling?
Although squirrels can survive falls from heights, they are not entirely immune to injuries. The harshness of the injuries a squirrel nourishes from a fall depends on several factors, including the height of the fall, the angle of impact, the geography, and the health and age of the squirrel. Here are some of the most expected injuries that squirrels can suffer from falling:
- Broken Bones: A broken bone is one of the most common injuries squirrels can sustain from a fall. The most commonly broken bones are the legs, spine, ribs, and skull. The severity of the break can range from a simple hairline fracture to a complete break.
- Internal Injuries: Squirrels can also suffer internal injuries when they fall from great heights. These injuries can include damage to organs such as the liver, spleen, and lungs, which can be life-threatening.
- Concussions: A squirrel may also suffer from a concussion after a fall. A concussion occurs when the brain hits the inside of the skull, causing bruising or swelling. This can lead to dizziness, confusion, or loss of consciousness.
- Sprains and Strains: Squirrels may suffer from sprains or strains after a fall. These injuries occur when ligaments or tendons are stretched or torn. Sprains and strains are more likely to occur in the legs and ankles.
- Bruising and Abrasions: Bruising and abrasions are also common injuries that squirrels can sustain from falls. These injuries occur when the squirrel hits the ground or other objects during the fall, causing damage to the skin and underlying tissues.
How Can Falls Be Prevented?
Preventing falls in squirrels requires taking a few steps to ensure their safety. Here are some measures you can take to prevent squirrels from falling:
- Tree Maintenance: Inspect trees around your property and remove any dead or diseased branches that could break off and cause squirrels to fall. Also, check for any cracks or signs of decay in the tree trunk.
- Nest Preservation: Avoid disturbing or removing squirrel nests, as this can cause them to panic and fall from their perches.
- Bird Feeders and Birdhouses: If you have bird feeders or birdhouses in your yard, make sure they are installed securely and don’t sway or move too much, which can cause squirrels to lose their balance and fall.
- Obstacle-Free Pathways: Keep pathways and walkways free of obstacles, so squirrels have a clear and safe route to navigate.
- Provide Alternative Escape Routes: If you have a tree with a lot of squirrel activity, consider installing a ladder or a wooden ramp leading down to the ground to provide squirrels with an alternative escape route in case of danger.
- Deterrence Methods: Use deterrents such as sprinklers or motion-activated lights to keep squirrels away from areas where they are not wanted, such as gardens or bird feeders.
- Cover Openings: Make sure openings such as vents, chimneys, or pipes are covered with mesh or screens to prevent squirrels from falling in.
What Should You Do If You Find an Injured Squirrel?
If you come across an injured squirrel, it’s important to take action to ensure its safety and well-being. Here are some steps you can take if you find an injured squirrel:
- Observe the Squirrel: Before approaching the squirrel, take a few moments to observe its behavior from a safe distance. If it’s able to move around and seems alert, it may not require immediate medical attention. However, if the squirrel appears lethargic, disoriented, or in distress, it’s best to contact a wildlife rehabilitation center.
- Contact a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center: Wildlife rehabilitation centers are equipped to handle injured or sick animals and have trained staff who can provide the appropriate care and treatment. Contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center and follow their instructions for safely transporting the injured squirrel to their facility.
- Use Gloves: If you need to handle the injured squirrel, use gloves to protect yourself and to avoid transferring any diseases or parasites that the squirrel may be carrying.
- Place the Squirrel in a Box: If the injured squirrel is small enough, you can place it in a box with air holes and a soft towel or cloth. Keep the box in a warm and quiet location, away from any pets or other animals.
- Provide Food and Water: If the squirrel appears to be stable and able to eat, you can offer it some water and a small amount of food, such as seeds or nuts.
- Do Not Try to Treat the Squirrel Yourself: While it may be tempting to try and treat the squirrel yourself, it’s important to remember that squirrels are wild animals and require specialized care. Attempting to treat the squirrel yourself can do more harm than good, and may even be illegal.
What Should You Do If You Find a Dead Squirrel?
If you find a dead squirrel, the best thing to do is to dispose of it properly to prevent any potential spread of disease or attraction of other animals. Here are the steps you can take:
- Wear gloves: Wear disposable gloves before handling the squirrel to avoid coming into contact with any potential diseases.
- Bag the squirrel: Place the dead squirrel into a plastic bag. Double-bagging is recommended to prevent any leakage.
- Dispose of the squirrel: Place the bag into a garbage bin with a tight-fitting lid. Do not bury the squirrel or leave it out in the open as this can attract other animals.
- Wash your hands: After handling the squirrel and disposing of it, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Can squirrels die from falling?
Yes, squirrels can die from falling from great heights. The higher the fall, the greater the risk of injury or death.
What injuries can squirrels suffer from falling?
When a squirrel falls from a great height, it can suffer a variety of injuries. These can range from broken bones and internal bleeding to head trauma and spinal cord injuries. In some cases, the squirrel may even suffer from paralysis or death.
How can falls be prevented?
The best way to prevent falls is to ensure squirrels have access to safe and secure areas.
What should you do if you find an injured squirrel?
If you find an injured squirrel, it is important to take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet will be able to assess the squirrel’s injuries and provide the necessary treatment.
In conclusion, squirrels can die from falling from great heights. While they are incredibly agile and can survive falls from up to 100 feet, the higher the fall, the greater the risk of injury or death. To prevent falls, it is essential to provide squirrels with safe and secure areas and to keep trees and other structures in good condition. If you find an injured squirrel, it is essential to take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. If you find a dead squirrel, it is essential to dispose of it properly and contact your local wildlife authorities.
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