Where Do Squirrels Go to Die?

During the most recent snow storm I noticed dozens of squirrels scurrying about, racing up trees, digging for a morsel of anything that was not frozen, seemingly as happy in the snow as they are sunbathing on the roof in the summer. I though to myself, what a great life a squirrel has…no stress, no responsibility, they seem to be happy running joyously with no particular place to go…and then it dawned on me, where do squirrels go to die?  I began to think of all the squirrels that live around my house and realized I have never seen a dead one!  Do they, like elephants have a special place they go to die? Somewhere so remote that we don’t stumble on it while running, hiking or shopping? Or do they bury their own in your backyard while you sleep? Perhaps they all commit suicide by drowning in local waterways? Or maybe the reason there are so many little happy squirrels running around, it that they NEVER die!   

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4 Responses to “Where Do Squirrels Go to Die?”

  1. After my neighbor’s dog killed a small squirrel, she put in on the tope of the fence. SHe noticed that alot of other squirrels were hanging around. SHe went back in about 15 minutes to bury it and it was gone. SHe thinks that the other squirrels carried it off to bury it, Could this be the case?

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  3. No, squirrels don’t drag their dead away to hold funeral ceremonies. LOL As for the unsubstantiated rumors about zombie squirrels, I remain skeptical. 🙂
    More probable is that a predatory bird took it or perhaps a passing cat dragged it off. Birds have extraordinary eyesight and it only takes a second or two for one passing high overhead or even sitting in a tree hundreds of feet away to swoop down, snatch it and fly off. That awesome feat usually passes unnoticed.
    FWIW, most homeowners have no idea whatsoever how many possums, raccoons, foxes, feral cats, rats, snakes, hawks, owls, etc. roam their yards and the air above. Many forage and hunt after dark.
    Dead squirrels become part of nature’s food chain, like deer that are overpopulating because bambi-huggers imagine them to be cute little creatures instead of mindless, tick and flea-infested herbivores. Naive individuals wring hands and press spineless jurisdictions to “protect” deer so they end up over-breeding, causing fatal traffic accidents, spreading disease and decimating native ecosystems nearly as much as man’s expansion into undeveloped areas.
    Sick and injured deer “go to ground” and blend into a thicket of brush or to die alone. It can take a while for a large deer carcass to be dismembered by carrion feeders or consumed by maggots, but a squirrel that’s gone to ground (usually tucked in a tree hole or leaf nest) will disappear quickly – found by a foraging omnivore, swallowed whole by a constrictor, or as is most often the case, used as a smorgasbord by a single fly. Fly eggs become hundreds of hungry squirming maggots. There are gruesome but enlightening videos on YouTube if you’re interested in that process.
    What little remains rots and the bones and hide are eventually carried off by small foragers or succumb to microbes that return nutrients to the ecosystem.

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