Meet Rob, the Baby Palm Squirrel, Which Can Fall Asleep Anywhere [Gallery]

Wildlife documentary film-maker, Paul Williams, nursed the orphaned baby palm squirrel back to health after it got separated from its mum.

  • Photo: Paul Williams/FlickrPhoto: Paul Williams/Flickr
  • Photo: Paul Williams/FlickrPhoto: Paul Williams/Flickr
  • Photo: Paul Williams/FlickrPhoto: Paul Williams/Flickr
  • Photo: Paul Williams/FlickrPhoto: Paul Williams/Flickr
  • Photo: Paul Williams/FlickrPhoto: Paul Williams/Flickr
  • Photo: Paul Williams/FlickrPhoto: Paul Williams/Flickr
  • Photo: Paul Williams/FlickrPhoto: Paul Williams/Flickr
  • Photo: Paul Williams/FlickrPhoto: Paul Williams/Flickr
  • Photo: Paul Williams/FlickrPhoto: Paul Williams/Flickr
  • Photo: Paul Williams/FlickrPhoto: Paul Williams/Flickr

This is the story of Rob the Sri Lankan palm squirrel and how he was rescued after his mother left him alone in the wilderness.

Paul Williams, a British photographer and film producer, was on an assignment in Sri Lanka earlier this month when he happened upon perhaps the most adorable discovery — a baby palm squirrel appeared to have fallen from his nest.

Mr Williams was in Sri Lanka’s Wilpattu National Park filming leopards and ancient temples for a BBC documentary when he found Rob in a car park at night.

“I thought he was dead until I noticed a little twitch. I scooped up his weak, cold body and warmed him in my hands,” he said.

“My first thought was to try and put him back with his parents in the nest, so I put him into a safe spot as high as I could in the tree that I guessed he had fallen from. I covered him in a layer of tissue to help him keep warm. I hoped his mum would be looking for him and would hear him squeaking. “

Williams and his crew were unable to find any signs of other palm squirrels in the area, even with their thermal camera, so he decided to take the squirrel into his care. Williams wrote that he had experience at wildlife rescue centers and read up on squirrel care. “I knew the commitment that I was making.”

Williams named the squirrel “Rob,” according to Mother Nature Network, feeding and caring for the infant like his own.

Baby palm squirrels feed from their mothers for up to 10 weeks, which is probably why Rob has been so trusting of the film crew, which provides him with food and cozy places to sleep.

He cared for Rob for two weeks, feeding him and carrying him in his shirt pocket before releasing him. Williams was returning home to the U.K. and knew he couldn’t bring him along.

“My aim was to fatten him up, get him strong and then find a solution for releasing him. I can’t bring him home, as much as I’d love to try. I understand that squirrels don’t make the best of pets so it would be best to be able to reintroduce him to the wild.”

He found a home for Rob at a hotel “which has a large number of habituated palm squirrels that come to raid the tables when people leave breakfast.”

“Here they’re tolerated, there’s plenty of food and there are trusted people who are experienced with caring for abandoned baby squirrels before slowly releasing them,” Williams explained.

“I’d guess that he’s about a month old and will be opening his eyes soon,” Williams told the publication, “He might get a shock to look up and see that I’m not a giant squirrel mum.”

The pair spend a lot of time together, with Rob doing disgustingly cute things, like napping in tea cups, falling asleep in shirt pockets and climbing his new parent like the squirrel that he is.

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