Julie Bailey ran into some unusual company during her recent tennis lesson with Sam…. Here’s her story…
There was a high pitched animal squeal from the tall trees and suddenly a very young vulnerable squirrel appeared on the tennis courts! He needed no coaching to hop into my hands where he stayed. We returned him back through the fence into the wooded area many times but he insisted on running back to myself or Sam who was coaching my tennis lesson.
As the lesson was coming to an end on an exceptionally warm Friday morning, and the squirrel was very tame and quite comfortably sitting on the top of my head to the amusement of Club staff, I did not feel it safe to leave him and decided to remove him from Bromley Lawn Tennis Club and drive him home and consider the next course of action.
Once home, I kept him warm in the conservatory for an hour where he was ‘checked out’ by our pet dog Bella, We named the squirrel Bertie as he was very male and let her lay with Bella for a while. If fact, Bertie must have thought she was his mother as he tried to feed from her (that’s a male thing!). I made no attempt to feed him, just keep him very warm, in fact 80 degrees is recommended.
After studying the internet and yellow pages I finally found a rescue centre and transported Bertie to The Wildlife Lodge in Foxgrove Road Vets, Beckenham where he will be professionally attended and taken to a squirrel sanctuary once he is older and thankfully no worse for his experience.
It was a most delightful moment for myself and tennis colleagues to appreciate another wonder of nature and certainly took me off my daily agenda!