He Rescued A Baby Squirrel Who’d Fallen From A Tree. Now The Little Orphan Just Loves His New Dad

The phrase “love at first sight” is often used flippantly to describe a quick forming relationship. However, for one man and his squirrel, it perfectly sums up the beginning of their beautiful bond.

It all began when a tiny baby squirrel fell from a tree in north Texas. The little creature was so small that he couldn’t even open his eyes, and so he was rushed to a nearby veterinary clinic to get checked.

Because the little fur ball would need round-the-clock care before being released back into the wild, he was taken home by one of the clinic’s staff members. It was then that the squirrel met Allen Pursley, who is married to the vet worker.

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Since Pursley works from home, he was the one nurturing the inquisitive creature each day. Of course, the doting foster dad made sure the newborn got enough milk and didn’t get into any mischief. And when the baby squirrel finally opened his eyes, Pursley was the first thing he saw.

It’s safe to say it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. And although Pursley had originally been skeptical about sharing his home with a wild animal, he soon fell head over heels for his adorable four-legged friend.

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“I started spending a lot of time with him,” Pursley told The Dodo. “Before the week was up, I was already converting our closet into a space for him.” It was then that he decided to name the squirrel “Rocky.”

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“I’m sure he also thinks his name is ‘Bad Squirrel’ with as many times as he heard me say it when I was training him to stay off countertops and drapes,” Pursley added, referring to the orphan’s naughty nature.

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Little Rocky relied on his human dad so heavily that before long the pair had formed an unbreakable bond. Obsessed with the adorable baby, Pursley began posting videos of their time together on YouTube.

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The videos showed Pursley playing with the rodent, feeding him and even enjoying a cuddle in front of the TV. However, he got so carried away with documenting everyday life with the infant squirrel that he forgot to release him into the wild.

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“I didn’t know what I was doing in the beginning. We were just basically trying to keep him alive,” Pursley explained. “By the time he ended up becoming an adult and I looked at releasing him, I realized I had already done way too much wrong to be able to release him.”

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Because Rocky was too tame to be released, Pursley and his husband decided to keep the squirrel and raise him with their two dogs and one cat. Indeed, in the two years since moving into the house, the squirrel has shown no sign of wanting to leave.

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However, the squirrel tends to ignore his other housemates and only has eyes for one man: his adopted dad. Curiously, though, Pursley said that Rocky often acts more like “a cat” with him. “[Rocky] doesn’t allow anybody else to handle him. My husband can’t handle him either.”

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In order to give Rocky some semblance of an ordinary animal life, then, Pursley is building him an outdoor enclosure. He also continues to document their extraordinary friendship on his Instagram and YouTube pages.

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It’s worth pointing out that should you come into possession of an orphaned squirrel, it’s not recommended that you attempt to raise it at home. In fact, baby squirrels frequently fall out of trees, so be aware of the following before leaping to one’s rescue…

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First, try and determine the age of the squirrel. If it is longer than six inches in the body and already sporting a fluffy tail, the squirrel is probably old enough to be able to fend for itself in the wild and therefore doesn’t need saving.

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But if it does seem too young to survive, check that the baby is warm and without any visible wounds before searching for its momma. “We ask the people to make a little nest box, to put them where the mother can see them, and take them up to the nest again,” David Bassi, of Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in San Antonio, Texas, explained.

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So, once you’ve placed the squirrel near the tree that they fell from, make sure you keep any pets far away, and keep an eye out to see if the mother returns for her baby. If she doesn’t, it’s time to contact your nearest wildlife rescue center to have the little one looked after properly.

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“When they get old enough we put them in an outdoor enclosure with other squirrels. We don’t pet them; we don’t name them. And when they’re ready we take them out and let them go,” Bassi explained.

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In addition to the point about making squirrels too domesticated, it is often even illegal to keep wild animals as pets. And although Bassi admits that people might fall in love with a baby squirrel – just like Pursley did – wildlife centers can generally give them a better life.

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All things considered, then, the rarity of Pursley and Rocky’s situation makes their relationship even more special. And while squirrels are by no means perfect pets, it sure seems that this pair have the perfect relationship.

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