Zip, the baby squirrel, is happy, healthy and energetic. But five weeks ago, he was trapped inside a bag of mulch, fighting for his life.
A man in Florida opened a new bag of mulch and, to his surprise, he found a baby squirrel inside. On Reddit, he is known only by his handle, “Nadtacular,” but now the world is starting to know him because of his compassion.
The baby squirrel was alive when he found it, and he decided to care for it and document its development.
This, Reddit userÂ Nadtacular posts an amazing series of photosÂ documenting how the little baby squirrel Â is growing up from the very moment it was found.
Nadtacular took in the squirrel, christened Zip, and cared for him. Two weeks later, Zip was “eating like a champ.” After about four weeks, his eyes started to open.
The first image was from when he discovered Zip; the subsequent images follow Zip’s growth from hairless baby to a fun-loving 5-week-old. So far, Zip’s pictures have been viewed more than 215,000 times on Reddit.
The last pictures, dated March 26, show Zip climbing on a car steering wheel and being hand fed.
People on Reddit are asking Nadtacular to continue posting pictures so they can watch little Zip grow up. Other people are asking Nadtacular about Zip’s journey. One post reads, “I want to know how it ended up in the bag. And how it survived till you found it.”
There is no definitive answer to how baby Zip found its way into the bag of mulch, but it’s safe to say Zip appears to be enjoying his new home.
In the three days since the pictures were posted, they have garnered more than 68,000 up votes on Reddit and have been viewed nearly 300,000 times on image-sharing site Imgur.
In 2012, a similar story about a baby squirrel nursed back to life by Belarusian soldiers also went viral. Clearly, the Internet has a soft spot for the cuddly creatures.
Belarusian soldiers found little baby squirrel close to death and brought it to their warrant officer, Pyotr Pankratau.Â He nursed the squirrel to health, feeding it every four hours. Now, two years later, Pankratau is a cab driver and the squirrel, Minsk, is never far from his side.
However,Â raising a wild animal in your home is generally not a good idea, according to the wildlife rehabilitation clinic at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Joanna Fitzgerald, director of the clinic, told the Naples News that wild animals are never good pets.
“All wild babies have extremely specialized nutritional requirements and will not thrive on commercial milk formulas sold at pet stores,” she said.
“Most wild animal babies have littermates so they can cuddle and interact. A wild animal raised with people is already at a disadvantage because it will become tame and lose its natural fear of people. This makes it impossible to release the animal back into the wild.”
Wild animals, no matter how cute, can also carry potentially dangerous diseases and parasites, she added.