You can count on a bit of pleasant news around the holiday season. This animal news story doesn’t disappoint.
A squirrel is capturing the hearts of animal lovers all over the world, and people are going nuts about the tiny furry creature that’s been visiting its human family daily for the last eight years. One day, the bushy tail mammal had a big surprise in store for the family that rescued her, and readers are tearing up about the big reveal.
A community is already familiar with the squirrel’s tale. Bella, as she’s affectionately called, had become somewhat of a star already over the years. Back in 2009, a family in South Carolina was notified about an injured squirrel that had recently been born, according to the Happiest site.
Brantly Harrison’s family runs an animal rescue operation that is accustomed to taking in injured and abandoned animals, providing them with medical with care and a temporary home, and releasing them back into the wild. An owl attacked 4-week-old Bella, a common squirrel.
A rescue group recovered the badly injured squirrel and soon realized she was too bad off to remain in the wild during the winter without her mother. The Harrisons agreed to care for Bella and nurse her back to health.
She soon joined three other resident squirrels: Curly, Larry, and Moe, so named after the Three Stooges. By spring, after a hefty diet of nuts, vegetables, and fruits, the little bubbly creature was on the mend, as WLWT5 reported.
The Harrison family was careful to prevent human imprinting, as it could potentially endanger the squirrels by giving them a false sense of security from humans and other animals. Therefore, they raised the little mammals in an outdoor enclosure.
When Bella and her companions were released back into their habitat, the Harrisons thought they’d make a beeline for the tops of tree canopies. While they all returned back for tasty handouts for a few days, all but Bella eventually re-assimilated into the wilderness.
Bella continued to return to her human family daily for weeks, which soon turned into years. Apparently, she wasn’t quite ready to part company with the family that gave her a new lease on life, according to Brantly.
“Bella sits right at the front door waiting for someone to notice she has come by for a visit. She has even resorted to jumping over to the dining room window to peer in for someone to see her. She comes almost daily for a little loving, treats, and to torment our dog, Cid, through the glass door.”
The family soon welcomed Bella as a surrogate family member when it became clear she enjoyed being around them instead of other squirrels. They started taking pictures of their furry friend and poked fun at her from time to time by Photoshopping hats on her images.
Brantly recently shared some heartwarming news about the tiny squirrel. A number of years ago, during Bella’s many trips to the window, the family discovered she was suffering from an injured leg.
As before, the family provided medical care until Bella healed. And then the miracle happened: Bella gave birth. Just before discharging her, the Harrisons discovered three babies in her cage. Again, they cared for the family until they were ready to strike out into the wilderness.
“She is a very special squirrel and has always had a large local following. She has changed the way many of my friends think of squirrels, especially the ones she has met. The kids just love to come over and feed her.”
Brantly believes their meeting with Bella was meant to be and a lesson emerged from the chance encounter.
“If Bella can teach at least one person to have compassion for all living things, no matter how big or how small, then we have done what we have set out to.”