Breaking

Family Who Saves A Defenseless Baby Squirrel Gets A Huge Surprise 8 Years Later

It’s not often we’re surprised by the animals roaming in our back yards. Sure, the neighbor’s cat might show up on occasion with a dead bird, but for the most part, the comings and goings of the local critters are all pretty ordinary.
But, sometimes, even animals meant to live in the nooks and crannies of suburbia can surprise us. Just ask the Harrison family of South Carolina, who rehabilitates wounded animals and then releases them back into nature. When one squirrel came into their care not so long ago, it was just another day on the job.
For the most part, squirrels tackle their day-to-day lives without much human interaction. You can expect them to scurry up and down trees, bury some nuts, and make chattering noises. Then there are squirrels like this one that totally rewrite the book on squirreling.
cidandbella / Instagram
Wounded by an owl at just four weeks old, this squirrel ended up in the care of Brantley Harrison. As a professional rehabilitator for wounded wild animals, the arrival of this female squirrel in 2009 was just another day on the job. The family even named her Bella.
cidandbella / Instagram
Brantley raised Bella alongside three other squirrels—Larry, Moe, and Curly—and fed them fruits and veggies all throughout the long winter. In the spring of 2010, when the squirrels were healthy enough, Brantley released them back into the wild as usual.
cidandbella / Instagram
More often than not, when Brantley sent her rehabilitated animals back into the forest—able to live on their own for the first time in their lives—she’d see them periodically over the next week or so. Then, they’d be gone forever. But Bella did something different…
cidandbella / Instagram
At first, Bella returned looking for some treats. To the Harrisons, that was par for the course in animal rehabilitation. Of course, it would take time for Bella to get used to life on her own. Except, time after time, Bella kept coming back!
cidandbella / Instagram
Now, eight years after she was rescued, Bella still returns to the Harrison household regularly. “Bella sits right at the front door waiting for someone to notice she has come by for a visit,” Brantley told WYFF 4 News. But why had this squirrel become so attached?
cidandbella / Instagram
Bella’s behavior was a bit strange. After all, while she was in Brantley’s care, she hadn’t been particularly lovey. The family hadn’t done anything special, either; they treated her just like every other squirrel. Still, other squirrels didn’t keep returning like Bella!
cidandbella / Instagram
Bella doesn’t like to be petted. She doesn’t ask for belly rubs or tail brushing; all she wants is a little bit of attention. In fact, the Harrisons make sure to have some walnuts on hand in case she becomes hungry. The squirrel has another pastime, too…
cidandbella / Instagram
“She comes almost daily for a little loving, treats, and to torment our dog, Cid, through the glass door,” Brantley said. You can see just how badly Cid wants out! Besides her general propensity for being adorable, Bella has another trait that’s made her a sensation…
cidandbella / Instagram
Bella likes wearing hats! So much, in fact, that she doesn’t mind wearing one while cameras are rolling. “I can’t believe she lets me do it,” Brantley said. “I could not love this squirrel any more than I already do!”
cidandbella / Instagram
Brantley started chronicling the adventures of Bella the squirrel on an Instagram account called CidandBella. Many of the photographs consist of Bella sitting in laps, wearing hats, and chompin’ on nuts—truly the perfect life.
cidandbella / Instagram
Recently, Bella’s relationship with the Harrisons even paid off for her in a big way when she injured her foot and she needed help—again. Luckily, she had somewhere to turn for some assistance.
cidandbella / Instagram
Unfortunately, even injured, Bella was not easy to recapture. On one Instagram post, Brantley wrote, “My first few attempts at catching her have failed. She has lived in the wild for over eight years so she is a smart squirrel and it is not easy to trick her.”
cidandbella / Instagram
Finally, the family managed to catch Bella and bring her back into their home for some rehab. They gave her antibiotics and a comfortable cage. Right before they released Bella back into the wild, though, she surprised the family again!
cidandbella / Instagram
Inside the Harrison family home, Bella gave birth to three little baby squirrels! After raising and nursing Bella, the Harrisons got to see her raising and nursing children of her own. “It was truly amazing to watch the baby I raised raise her own babies,” Brantley said.
cidandbella / Instagram
Bella was so special to the Harrison family that she actually changed people’s perceptions of squirrels. “She is a very special squirrel and has always had a large local following,” Brantley said. “She has changed the way many of my friends think of squirrels.”
cidandbella / Instagram
Sometimes, it’s easy to think of squirrels as bushy-tailed rats, but if nothing else, Bella’s story shows that squirrels are capable of love and dedication on par with some of the most beloved house pets. They’re animals that should be showed love and compassion.
cidandbella / Instagram
That’s a sentiment Brantley echoed: “If Bella can teach at least one person to have compassion for all living things, no matter how big or how small,” she said, “then we have done what we have set out to.”
cidandbella / Instagram
So the next time you see a squirrel in your neighborhood, remember that these little creatures might surprise you. In fact, with enough love and care, they might reward you with a kiss on the cheek!
cidandbella / Instagram
They might even give you a kiss on the lips! The Harrison family had no idea they were starting a decade-long friendship when they took in Bella back in 2009, but sometimes surprises come in bushy-tailed packages!

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.