Family Develops Special Bond With Squirrel (Photos)

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A squirrel has been knocking on the door of a family's home every day for the past eight years after the family saved its life.

A wildlife rescue group found a badly injured baby squirrel one day in 2009 and brought the animal to Brantley Harrison, Animal Channel reported. Harrison and her family help rehabilitate injured animals.

They named the squirrel Bella. She was attacked by an owl that almost killed her. The Harrison family took the injured squirrel in, and nursed it back to health. 

Because Bella was not old enough to be released back into the wild, the family kept her for a while. The Harrison family raised her and three other squirrels -- Moe, Curly and Larry. The squirrels lived in an outdoor release cage.

Without the help of the Harrisons, Bella would not have survived in the wild. The family nurtured the squirrel with formula, vegetables, fruits and nuts every day -- a diet that ultimately helped Bella heal and thrive.

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Harrison said Bella does not enjoy being petted, but does like to sit on their laps and eat plenty of nuts.

"Her personality was not any different than any other squirrel I have ever raised while she was in my care," Harrison told The Dodo. "The main objective is to return them all back into the wild so I never treated her like a pet. She acted no different than the others."

After spending a year with the Harrison family, Bella was released back into the wild in spring 2010. The family had waited until the squirrel was completely recovered before letting her go back into the wild.

But Bella wasn't quite ready to leave the Harrison family in the past.

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The squirrel didn't venture too far off, and returned to the family's doorstep almost every day for the following eight years.

“She started to come back for a treat or two within days of being released,” Harrison explained. “The others came back too for a few days which is very typical and then after a week or so they usually stop coming by and getting close to you. 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 added: "My husband will be running late for something and rushes out the door to be greeted by her and he happily runs back inside to the big bowl of walnuts we leave by the front door to grab a handful and goes back out to spend some time with her.” 

Sources: Animal Channel, The Dodo / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Brantley Harrison via The Dodo

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