A more suitable home for a squirrel?

I just read the news. Georgette Curran lost her fight to keep her fish. A gang of 10 wardens and state scientists knocked on her door in Harpswell, threatened to arrest her and took the koi she’s been fighting to keep. They say they’re an invasive species and there’s a possibility they could get loose and start living in the wild, like pythons in the Everglades. That seems like a long shot to me. But I’m no biologist, so I’ll take their word for it.

May 28, 2008  - Zackary, a Chihuahua pup from Cundy's Harbor, snuggles with one of his adopted squirrel siblings.

May 28, 2008 – Zackary, a Chihuahua pup from Cundy’s Harbor, snuggles with one of his adopted squirrel siblings.

But why’d they go an take her squirrel and bluejay, too?

I first met Georgette in 2008 when I worked at The Times Record. Someone nearby had cut down a tree, dumping a nest of baby squirrels on the ground. Knowing Georgette had a soft spot for critters, they brought the fuzzy babies to her house. As it turned out, her Chihuahua, Norma, was nursing a litter and didn’t mind two extra mouths to feed. They would have died without Norma and Georgette.

The pictures I took went out on the wire and were published all over the world. It was a great story. While we chatted I learned she’d also nursed a sick bluejay back to health. He pulled through but couldn’t fly. He lived in her kitchen.

I heard later she got one squirrel to hear the call of the wild but the other, the one she called Tommy,  wouldn’t leave and became another resident in her menagerie.

Given that the squirrel and bird lived with her for at least six years and would be dead if not for her, I was puzzled to read in the story by my colleague which read, “State officials are seeking a suitable home for the squirrel and bluejay.”

Umm, dudes, that what they had.

From what I read, most squirrels don’t make it to adulthood and if they do, they don’t live much longer than a few years. It’s the same for jays. Both those animals lived with Georgette for at least six.

As a journalist, I hate opining on the news. It’s not my job to tell you what I think, just what I know and what I saw. But come on, give her squirrel and bluejay back. They’re not invasive species. They’re her friends.

May 28, 2008 - Norma, a Chihuahua from Cundy's Harbor, has raised three orphaned squirrels along with her own two puppies.

May 28, 2008 – Norma, a Chihuahua from Cundy’s Harbor, has raised three orphaned squirrels along with her own two puppies.

Troy R. Bennett

About Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.