Monday, March 2, 2009
Meet Winston and Harry. I'm not sure who's who, but I found these two young, adorable squirrels today, living it up in an undisclosed NYC doorman apartment. Winston, who was found sick in Washington Square Park, and Harry, who was plucked from an East Village street with a broken arm, were strangers when they moved in together two months ago, but have since become fast friends. Their days are spent in full throttle, munching on nuts and berries perched from a hanging planter, and swinging from limbs, ropes and cardboard boxes in the three-story custom-made ferret cage that's wedged against a window in the studio apartment.
Despite squirrels being illegal in NYC apartments, Harry and Winston are legal residents (except the super doesn't know his building is their habitat). Their landlord is a licensed squirrel rehabilitator, who wishes to remain anonymous. She is among a handful of NYC squirrel rehabbers that provide food and shelter to young squirrels in peril. Many of the squirrels have fallen out of trees, were rejected by their mothers as babies, or have been attacked by a predator. Once the weather warms up the can be released slowly back into in the wild.
Now that the duo is on the mend, Winston and Harry are poised to be moved to an undisclosed upstate New York location. Hopefully they will live happily ever after. But releasing them after nurturing the personality-laden squirrels isn't easy, says the rehabber. "They're great company," she said. "It's so easy to get attached and I'm so sad to see them go."