A squirrel travelled from India to Scotland inside a ship, keeping itself safe and fed for a journey spanning thousands of kilometres and around three weeks, and is now being treated by an animal rescue centre in Aberdeenshire.
The New Arc Wildlife Hospital, North East Wildlife & Animal Rescue Centre posted on its Facebook page on 30 August that it had “received a call from [two workers] Clara and Natasha who work for Pest Solutions in Aberdeen”.
“They were on their way to Clipper Quay to pick up a squirrel which had been discovered on a boat arriving from India and wondered if we would be prepared to take him in,” it explained.
The animal hospital said the two had arrived with the squirrel “safely secured in a pet carrier”.
The squirrel has been named “Zippy” by the rescue centre staff, as it was a “palm squirrel” or “three-striped squirrel”, a species that is widely found in parks and gardens across India, and “active and faster than a speeding bullet”, said the rescue centre.
“Now, we have to admit that our knowledge of Indian Squirrels is hardly encyclopedic so we had used the time between the call and his arrival in quickly swotting up on the likely arrival. India has over 40 different species of squirrel ranging from ground squirrels to giant flying squirrels,” the centre said in its post.
“On arrival, our new visitor was transferred into a bigger cage where he could be assessed for condition. He was indeed a ‘Palm Squirrel’ or ‘3-striped Squirrel’ one of the commoner Indian Squirrels,” it added.
“Although stressed originally and having survived his 3 week ocean trip from India in reasonably good condition, Zippy has now settled down and is already eating well.”
The rescue centre’s staff is now looking for a permanent home for the squirrel.