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Wildlife Photographer Captures Cute Recording of a Baby Squirrel Eating


If you’ve spent any time on social media over the past 48 hours, you’ve probably seen this video. Recorded by young zoologist and wildlife photographer Dani Connor, the short clip of a baby red squirrel eating has been spreading across the Web like wildfire.

As cute as the little clip is, the story behind it—which was shared by Connor on Twitter after the clip went viral—is even more heartwarming.

Connor has been photographing the squirrels near her home in Northern Sweden for some time, often capturing dynamic photos of squirrels “jumping” and naming the ones she began to recognize. One of these squirrels was named Remy:

Connor believes that Remy was the mother of the baby squirrel in the video above, as well as three others. Tragically, about two weeks ago, Connor found Remy critically injured under a nearby tree. She had been hit by a car.

“I was devastated,” wrote Connor on Instagram the day after it happened. “And so yesterday morning I carried her into the forest and placed dandelions around her.”

But in the midst of her sadness, Connor had something else to worry about. Remy had been pregnant earlier on in the Spring, and Connor knew that there was “a drey full of young babies” somewhere in the forrest, waiting for mom to come home. Lo and behold, she spotted a baby red squirrel sometime later.

“I waited 7 hours in the forest that day to see if any adults would go up the tree. But the babies were alone,” writes Connor. “Then I needed to make a decision. Do I capture them and rear them in captivity?”

She began leaving some food out for them and, after discovering that they could eat on their own, Connor chose to leave them in the wild rather than bringing them into captivity.

“At first they were very nervous. I was this big unusual furless creature,” recalls Connor. “From the day I met them, 2 weeks ago, I have spent 4-6 hours in the forest with them. They slept for most of the day but when they were awake, I was with them.”

Slowly but surely, while helping to keep them alive in the absence of Remy, Connor earned the babies’ trust.

“About a week ago, they have started to run down from the tree as soon as they hear me calling them,” writes Connor. “They recognised me. But more importantly, they trusted me.”

Which brings us up to the present day. The squirrels now trust Connor completely, and she will continue to feed them until it’s time for them to go off on their own.

“I will continue feeding them daily for 3-4 weeks. At 12 weeks old, they will become self dependent,” she explains. “Although, they will always be wild and free, I hope I will remain their friends. Can’t be a mum forever.”

It’s a touching story that has produced some really wonderful photographs and at least one viral video along the way. To follow along with the baby squirrels’ progress, and see more of Connor’s fantastic wildlife photography (it’s not all squirrels…), give the photographer a follow on Twitter and Instagram.

In a world totally captivated by a lot of bad news, this is a lovely story that will hopefully inject a little joy into your week.

Update on 3/8/21: Connor has released a beautiful 30-minute short film about her experience with this litter of squirrels.