A 'crazy phenomenon': Wildlife experts untangle six squirrels tied at the tail

Nebraska Wildlife Rehab untangled six baby squirrels whose tails were tangled together.
Nebraska Wildlife Rehab untangled six baby squirrels whose tails were tangled together. Nebraska Humane Society, Facebook

Six squirrels found tied at the tail were successfully untangled after a Nebraska man heard screeching outside of his Elkhorn home last week.

"It was like a tug of war," Craig Luttman told the Omaha World-Herald. "All were going in different directions."

Luttman called the Nebraska Humane Society, and an animal control officer responded to help the 8-week-old squirrels.

"Our wonderful animal control officers caught the little squirrels with a net," the Nebraska Humane Society commented on Facebook.

Nebraska Wildlife Rehab then gave the squirrels anesthesia, covered them with a towel to help keep them calm and untangled the tails using natural oils.

Laura Stastny, executive director of Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, told the World-Herald that untangling the tails was like untangling a ball of knotted twine. The whole process took about an hour, and the squirrels are now being watched by wildlife experts.

Some of the squirrels may need surgery to remove parts of their tails that were damaged when tangled, the newspaper reported, but the society expects to release the squirrels back into the wild in a few weeks.

The Nebraska Humane Society said six baby squirrels could get tangled up by their tails a few ways, including from tree sap or from string and netting in the mom's nesting material.

The society has "had a couple sightings/cases of this crazy phenomenon," according to the Facebook post.

Last year, a man in Maine protected four squirrels who were tied at their tails from a cat by trapping the squirrels in a box before freeing them from the knot, the Huffington Post reported. The man called the tied-up squirrels the "squirrel king."

The Brockport, N.Y., Police Department released body cam video that shows a squirrel lunging at one of its officers on Dec. 29. The officers were called to a residence on a report that a squirrel had broken into home and was eating cookies in the