‘He hides nuts in my hair when I watch TV’ – Life with Horatio the rescued squirrel

Mandy McKenna with her house trained squirrel Horatio.

A woman lives with an injured squirrel she saved from the roadside – and he now hides nuts in her HAIR as he prepares for winter.

Mandy McKenna rescued Horatio when she found him lying concussed on a verge after apparently being struck by a vehicle.

But rather than staying at her home for a few days to recover he got attached and is now living with her permanently.

Mandy McKenna with her house trained squirrel Horatio.

He travels around with her in her handbag, sits with her on the sofa as she watches TV – and hides nuts all over the house.

But she’s also now discovered Horatio is storing nuts in her HAIR – as he naturally prepares for hibernation.

Mandy, from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, said: “He is so cool, it’s impossible not to be in a good mood around him.

“I was coming back from work and found him near the prison. He was concussed and was giving out a distress noise and freaking out when a car came along.

”I don’t know if he got hit.They just need to have a safe place for a few days.

Mandy McKenna with her house trained squirrel Horatio.

”But he imprinted really quickly and would come back when I tried to release him.

“So he would endanger himself trying to come back. He spent the first week in my scarf or in my hair.

“I would just carry him around like that and he even came to Aldi with me; no one would notice or only when they looked closely.

“Now I take him to the shop where I work and when I go to friends’ houses I have a handbag for him, so he can go inside if he wants to curl up and have a rest.

“At home he just puts you in a good mood. He is so funny, it’s impossible not to laugh when you are with him.

“When I watch TV he sits on the back of the sofa and hides nuts in my hair.

”Sometimes I move something in the house and find out he stashed nuts there.

“He eats mostly vegetables and nuts, he likes ham, broccoli and corn on the cob and I make him squirrel flapjacks for extra calcium.”

Mandy McKenna with her house trained squirrel Horatio.

Horatio is not the first animal Mandy has rescued, but it is the first which wouldn’t leave.

“I am from a city but I love living here and being closer to nature, she said. I have rescued injured birds and bats, but this is the only one that has stayed with me.

“I rescued a squirrel about ten years ago after he had fallen from a tree. He stayed with me for three days and then went back into the wild.

“But Horatio imprinted quickly. He was too old to need his mother but too young to make it alone.

“You can find information on what they need and the foods they need on the internet.

“I have tried to release him, but he keeps coming back and endangering himself on the road.

”At the moment it’s not safe to let him out on the street so he is staying with me for now.”


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