Aggressive Santa Cruz squirrel chomps her way to freedom


SANTA CRUZ (CNN NEWSOURCE) – A runaway squirrel is back roaming the streets of Santa Cruz.

Emily the squirrel caught media attention last week after she reportedly bit several people who got close to her tree and her babies.

The overprotective mom was later captured and taken to an animal rescue, along with her little ones.

“Unfortunately, she had chewed a hole in the box that we did not think she was capable of getting out of and she got out,” Amy Red Feather, with the Native Animal Rescue, said. 

In what became a big production, Santa Cruz Fire, the County Animal Shelter, and Native Animal Rescue all responded to reports on an aggressive squirrel on Maple Street last Friday.

But as soon as Emily was captured, rescuers say she began gnawing through the box she was being kept in.

Several holes were left in the carrier she was in and she was able to squeeze through one and getaway.

Volunteers at Native Animal Rescue tried everything to try and lure Emily back even using baby squirrel sounds.

“That’s one Of the tactics we used but when you’re working with wildlife this stuff happens a lot,” Feather said.

While Emily is nowhere to be found, her three two-and-a-half-week old babies, two males and a female, continue to recover at an undisclosed location

“I feed them around the clock. I get up a couple of times a night and feed them and it’s about 3 hours a day, during the day. There is actually powdered squirrel milk that we mix with water and it’s especially formulated for baby squirrels,” a veterinarian technician said.

Emily’s story has received national attention through news outlets and social media.

“It’s just something you don’t hear about very often. It’s out of the norm,” Reno resident Brendan Harris said.

Is it possible that Emily could be trying to make her way back to that tree on Maple Street in Downtown Santa Cruz?

“I doubt it. I think it’s far enough away. We tend to get an animal far away from its home base it doesn’t go back,” Feather said.

Even if Emily isn’t found, her babies will be nursed until they are ready to be released into the wild.

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