Wildlife photographer Dani Connor was photographing pink squirrels in Sweden closing 12 months when she discovered four youngster orphaned squirrels. On this beautiful 30-minute fast film she made, titled The Squirrels & Me, Connor shares how she rescued the kid squirrels after which befriended a family of them.
Connor, a British photographer who travels the world, had been photographing each type of wildlife in Northern Sweden when she turned enamored by the pink squirrel particularly.
“With exaggerated ear tufts, a charismatic character, and an cute face, it is robust to not fall in love with them,” Connor says.
In June 2020, Connor was saddened to look out that certainly one of many female squirrels she had develop into acquainted with, which she named “Remy,” had been struck and killed by a vehicle on the road by the shut by village.
After giving Remy a appropriate farewell, and determining that the squirrel had been pregnant, Connor observed a youngster pink squirrel shut by. When the kid scampered up the tree, Connor sat on the forest flooring for 7 hours, able to see if any grownup squirrels would climb up the similar tree to take care of the infants, nevertheless no grownup confirmed up.
“I spoke to a variety of wildlife rescues, and I was suggested this squirrel package deal was too youthful to survive with out its mother,” Connor says. “It needed rearing in captivity. Nonetheless how was I going to grab a 7-week-old pink squirrel?”
The subsequent day, Connor returned to the spot inside the forest and located that there was actually a litter of squirrels.
From that day onward, Connor would spend 4 to 6 hours a day with the kid squirrels, to which she gave the names Pear, Cheburashka, Moomin, and Little Flame.
The toddler squirrels rapidly realized to acknowledge Connor by her voice, coming down from the bushes at any time once they detected her presence.
Connor spent the subsequent weeks documenting the every single day lives of the litter, watching them do points like climb up and down bushes, chase each other, and bury meals for the long term.
“Red squirrel mortality is as extreme as 70% of their first 12 months,” Connor says. “Predators, dwelling cats, the road, and even deforestation are all threats for these youngster squirrels.”
Sadly, Moomin and Little Flame disappeared after Connor had tracked the litter for some days.
“As soon as I discovered the kid squirrels had been alive, I didn’t depend on any to survive,” the photographer says. “Baby Pear and Cheburashka are doing properly. They’ve grown a lot and are starting to find their very personal meals.”
After spending 5 months in Northern Sweden, Connor left the nation, solely to return to the position 6 months later all through the UK’s second COVID-19 lockdown.
Connor visited the forest every single day for three weeks, hoping to be reunited with Baby Pear. Whereas she rediscovered a couple of various squirrels she had develop into acquainted with all through the summer season season, Baby Pear was nowhere to be seen.
Nonetheless then sooner or later, Connor decided to stay residence. When she opened the curtains that morning, she observed a youthful squirrel outside.
“As rapidly as I observed the squirrel, I knew who it was, and his conduct proved to me it was Baby Pear,” Connor says. “No matter all odds, Baby Pear had survived.”
She then observed one different youthful squirrel shut by. It was Cheburashka.
“As soon as I arrived [in] Sweden, I had no idea I might develop such a sturdy connection to these animals,” the photographer says. “After spending so many hours inside the forest with these squirrels, I was in a place to determine each of them and understand their utterly totally different personalities and behaviors.”
P.S. We previously featured Connor’s journey of rescuing the kid squirrels inside the early days after her recording of a youngster squirrel consuming went viral on-line in June of 2020.