You never know what you’ll find when out and about, especially in the wilderness. A couple with their ears pricked and possessing a keen sense of sight found a tiny critter in the most impossible of places. Lucky it was saved and given another chance at life, because the ending it was facing that day would’ve been harsh.
On Dec. 14, 2012, a couple at Timbavati Picnic Site in the Kruger National Park in South Africa thought a strange bird was making some noises from a tree. But little did they expect to see a tiny animal hanging by its neck from a thorn.
The tiny animal was a baby squirrel.
The couple, Elize and Anton Olivier, knew they had to act fast and rescue this baby.
“We have to get the baby down,” Elize said in a video that captured the rescue process.
They brought over tables and chairs to make a ladder, but the setup was unstable.
“This doesn’t look too safe, I’ve got to say,” Anton said.
They then decided to have Anton drive his car over, and parked it under the tree before climbing onto the rooftop.
“I’m all thorny. Imagine this poor thing,” Anton said as he reached into the tree.
After the baby squirrel was brought to safety, Elize attended to it.
They helped the baby squirrel, believed to be 2 weeks old, enjoy a little comfort in a soft towel and named it Thorn—after having been found dangling from a thorn.
Thorn was later released back into his natural habitat after growing up.
According to Elize’s Facebook comment from 2015, Thorn occasionally returns to visit them.
“Thorn 3 years old now he is healthy happy [sic] stay in neighbors garden in a Leadwood tree comes to say hello now and again!” Elize wrote.
According to Kruger National Park’s website, Thorn is a tree squirrel, also known as Smith’s Bush Squirrel, per SF Globe.
As baby squirrels are weaned at 6 weeks old and will leave the nest to find food on their own, Thorn would’ve been too young to survive if he was really 2 weeks old when he was found by the Oliviers. Good thing they took him in. We’re sure Thorn’s little squirrel brain appreciates them immensely.
Watch the rescue process below:
That’s nuts! The squirrel who still pays daily visits to the family who saved her life 8 years later