One family from Finland had the joyful experience of rescuing and raising a badly injured baby squirrel. When the wild red squirrel was first found injured on the side of the road, his rescuers didn’t even think he was still alive. Luckily for everyone involved, the squirrel, who became known as Arttu, made a full recovery and turned into the best little pet someone could ask for.
The heartwarming story received public attention after Reddit user Priami posted photos of the once badly injured baby squirrel adopted by humans. The user’s grandmother was positive the squirrel was dead when she first discovered his near lifeless body in the middle road. But when she tried to remove him from the roadway he showed signs of life.
She knew right away she had to do something to help the wild red squirrel, and so she handed it over to Priami in hopes the youngsters could nurse the injured squirrel back to life.
Just as grandma hoped, the family successfully raised the squirrel to health. Yet, when they tried to release Arttu back into the wild so he could live a full and natural life, all didn’t go so well.
Arttu was blind in one eye, and so the wild wasn’t the safest place for the furry bundle of joy. The family made the decision to keep the squirrel as one of their own. Arttu lived a happy life with the family from 2007 until 2013.
“When it seemed like he had recovered, we tried to release him back to the wild but he fell from a tree and hit a rock.”
“He survived, but we realized that his eye would never heal completely and he wouldn’t survive on his own.”
The family named the squirrel Arttu, which is the Finnish version of ‘Arthur.’
While rather hyper and wild at first, the family was shocked by how much Arttu calmed down. “We were very surprised how ‘tame’ he became.”
“He liked to have playful ‘fights’ with our hands (you know, like cats do) and he was smart enough not to bite too hard.”
Arttu also enjoyed snuggling up in pockets and taking warm naps.
“He even recognized his ‘family’ and became very wary if there were strangers nearby.”
Arttu’s loving family tried to provide him with everything he needed, including a nutritious diet full of nuts, fruits, berries and mushrooms.
They let Arttu out to play in the wild on many occasions, and every time he always came right back to his loving family. When they put him in nearby trees to roam around and play, “He stayed there for a while and then jumped back to my shoulder.”
He clearly enjoyed playing in the Christmas tree.
“Squirrel’s claws grow all the time so we had to occasionally cut them because he couldn’t wear them out naturally.”
In the image below you can see the sparkle in Arttu’s good eye…
And in this image you can see his blind eye is gray and cloudy…
With a heavy heart I share Arttu has since passed away due to natural causes. His owner writes, “He died of old age. One morning I found him dead, curled up in his ‘nest’ like he was sleeping.”
In Arttu’s honor, “We fed other squirrels all the food we had stored for him before he died.”
RIP Arttu, you are most certainly missed! May Arttu’s legacy live on and stand as a lesson to help all animals in need, domesticated or wild.
Photo Credits: Priami