Squirrels are so common, you can find them in almost every continent in the world. The ubiquitous wild animals are mainly known for eating acorns, running up trees really fast, and making your dog go nuts. Yet Bella proves that her species can also endure grave danger—as well as be surprisingly sweet and friendly to humans.
Bella was only four weeks old when she was attacked by an owl. She made it out alive, but was badly injured. Were no one there to take care of her, she would have died soon after.
Fortunately, a wildlife rescue group discovered her and placed her in the home of a woman named Brantley Harrison—who had a long history of rehabilitating animals.
Bella arrived at the Harrison house in October of 2009. She stayed with them until Spring, since she was too young to be sent back into the wild before winter. Three other rescued squirrels were raised alongside her.
Their names were Larry, Moe and Curly. The squirrels all lived in one outdoor cage, where they were fed formula, vegetables, fruits, and (of course) nuts. Back then, she just seemed like a regular squirrel, nearly identical to her cage-mates.
“Her personality was not any different than any other squirrel I have ever raised while she was in my care,” Harrison said to the 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.”
It wasn’t until April, when the squirrels were released into the wild, that Bella started to reveal her true personality.
“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.”
But more than a week went by, and Bella was still showing up at the Harrison’s door. It’s been over seven years now, and they still can’t get rid of her!
“Bella sits right at the front door waiting for someone to notice she has come by for a visit,” Harrison continued. “She has even resorted to jumping over to the dining room window to peer in for someone to see her.”
Bella comes to visit nearly every day. She’ll come sit on laps, eat nuts, and soak up the love, and the Harrisons now consider her an official part of their family.
“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,” Harrison said.
A few years ago, Bella’s family expanded. When she received another injury, the Harrison’s ended up housing her again for a short while. During that time, she gave birth to three adorable babies, which the Harrison’s happily helped care for until they were old enough to be released.
“It was truly amazing to watch the baby I raised raise her own babies,” Harrison said.
In a weird way, it was like Harrison had grandkids—furry walnut-loving grandkids! So cute!
[via The Dodo and Brantley Grogan Harrison]