Four baby squirrels were found on train tracks with their tails braided together in what vets believe can be an animal abuse case.
The 6-week-old animals were discovered last week on a railroad in Berlin, Connecticut.
Their tails were braided in pairs, then the two knots were tied in a large tangle, according to Kensington Bird and Animal Hospital.
Four baby squirrels were found on train tracks in Berlin, Connecticut. An x-ray shows how their stories are intertwined in a deliberate attempt to harm or kill them
Their tails were intricately intertwined, probably indicating animal abuse
Each of the squirrels had broken bones in their tails and one of the baby's had to have his tail amputated due to blood loss, told Anthony Dibella, a veterinary technician at the hospital. CNN.
Veterinarians suspect that squirrels are the victims of animal abuse because of the nature of how their tails got entangled.
In the wild, it is not uncommon for baby squirrels to naturally assemble their tails if their mother does not clean them properly or leaks juice in their nest and on their tails, Dibella said.
He added, however, the difference with these squirrels is that when veterinary personnel untangled their tails, they were clean and the braids were symmetrical.
& # 39; There was no lasting factor, so we think this happened on purpose & # 39 ;, he told CNN.
It seems that their rescue has arrived just in time. The squirrels are finally eating independently, although they are skittish when it comes to people.
& # 39; Squirrels easily return to the wild, & # 39; he said. & # 39; The big factor is how well they can function without the tail. & # 39;
The tail is of the utmost importance for a squirrel because it helps to keep the rodent warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also helps them stay in balance when they climb trees or over power lines.
It is not clear how it will affect the being it has lost at such a young age.
The hospital has since contacted the local animal control and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to investigate the incident as animal abuse.
A similar incident happened last year. Rehabilitators had a difficult problem to solve when the furry tails of five squirrels in a & # 39; Gordian knot & # 39; got caught in Wisconsin.
The rodents were hopelessly entangled with the long-stemmed grasses and strips of plastic that their mother used as nesting material
Last year, wild rehabilitators managed to free five baby squirrels and make them healthy again after their tails were entangled in what was described as a & # 39; Gordian knot & # 39 ;.
The Humane Society's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Wisconsin had to think creatively to release the cute creatures safely after someone tied them together and reported the problem.
Rescuers work hard not to accidentally cut off parts of their tails and think they have saved the lives of squirrels by not injuring the area.
& # 39; The tails of these five young gray squirrel brothers and sisters were hopelessly confused with the long-stemmed grasses and strips of plastic that their mother used as nesting material, and with each other! & # 39; they wrote on them Facebook page next to images of the small rodents.
It took about 20 minutes to free the young squirrels, but they had already suffered damage due to limited blood flow
Caregivers anesthetized the frightened animals to stop them from spinning
The post explained how the task was made more difficult because the members of the Sciuridae family were extremely restless and afraid of being treated.
In addition, the number of squeezed squirrels made the task more risky, but the caregivers were determined to ensure that they no longer suffered damage to their body tissues after the entanglement had demanded their blood flow.
& # 39; You can imagine how wiggly and unmanageable (and snappy!) This frightened, distressed ball of squirrelly energy was, so our first step was to numb all five of them at the same time & # 39 ;, they explained.
Just like in Alexander the Great's Gordian Knot story, the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Center was initially unable to understand the intricate ties.
But unlike a version of the legend where the intricate knot could only be released by the future ruler of Asia, King Gordius of Phrygia – or otherwise cut to pieces by the sword of Alexander the Great – animal lovers did not take the easy way.
They all have clear eyes now, but a few still have a way to go until they have a bushy tail again
& # 39; When that was achieved, we started working on unraveling the & # 39; Gordian Knot & # 39; (Google it) of closely tangled tails and nesting material. It was impossible to say whose tail belonged to whom, and we became increasingly worried because they all had tissue damage to their tails to varying degrees due to circulatory disorders. & # 39;
It is believed that the rarely seen incident happened as a result of the nesting material of the mother she is engaging.
& # 39; Little by little we cut away the grass and plastic scissors with scissors, very carefully to make sure that we did not cut anyone's tail during the process. It took about 20 minutes to free the young squirrels. And shortly after they started recovering from anesthesia, the post continued.
They added that the little creatures are now doing well, but some of them still have a way to go when it comes to the full-bodied tree-climbing and nut-gathering animals that we usually see.
& # 39; Now, a day later, they all have a clear view, and three out of five have a & # 39; bushy tail & # 39; but we have to watch them all for a few days to watch tail necrosis caused by disturbed blood flow.
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