The Story of How an Abandoned Baby Squirrel Became Best Friends With a Man

This is the story of Rob the Sri Lankan palm squirrel and how he was rescued after his mother left him alone in the wilderness.

  • Rob the squirrel falling asleep on Paul William's laptop. He lives with the wildlife expert after being separated from his mother

    • Paul Williams, a filmmaker working with BBC Wildlife, found Rob as he was walking through the forest. He thought the baby squirrel was dead until he saw a twitch of life.
    • After wrapping the squirrel up for warmth, he left it in a safe spot nearby tree, hoping that its mother would find it. When he checked in the morning, however, he was still there.
  • Paul Williams placed the baby squirrel high up in a tree and used thermal imaging to try and reunite the palm squirrel with its mother

    • Mr Williams, from Bristol, persuaded the rest of the crew from the BBC’s Natural History Unit to use high-tech equipment to search for the baby squirrel’s family.
    • He said: 'We searched the area for any sign of other squirrels but we didn’t spot any. We then used our thermal camera, which we are using to spot and film nocturnal animals in the car park. It’s great for showing warm patches where small animals are nesting.
    • 'Unfortunately it showed us no thermal hotspots in any of the trees where Rob could have come from. 'I couldn’t just leave him. He would have died if I hadn’t have found him and so for now he’s an honorary part of the crew.'
  • Rob is so small he can fall asleep inside a mug

  • The robust rodent, who was found in Wilpattu National Park in Sri Lanka, is fitting in with life among the television crew

    • Mr Williams has started nursing Rob the squirrel back to full health. He feeds the squirrel baby formula using a plastic syringe.
    • He added: 'It’s not the smoothest of worlds to grow up in as we are often travelling large distances in vehicles packed and loaded with kit, and we spend all day - and much of the night - in the field.
    • 'I’m concerned about monkeys and stray dogs getting hold of him and so I tend to keep him in my breast pocket during the day so that I can keep him warm and feed him regularly. Since he opened his eyes he’s also become much more active and he doesn’t like being in his box.
  • The orphaned squirrel likes to keep warm in Paul William's breast pocket while he is at work

  • When he is not inside Paul William's breast pocket, Rob clambers onto his shirt

  • The baby squirrel pops its head out of the mug after having a nap inside

  • In order to help Rob regain his strength, Williams has been feeding him with a syringe filled with formula

    • Williams, however, eventually had to say goodbye – he has returned to the UK, leaving Rob with a high-class hotel in Sri Lanka that will feed him until he is ready to leave.
    • Baby palm squirrels feed from their mothers for up to 10 weeks, which is probably why Rob has been so trusting of the film crew, which provides him with food and cozy places to sleep.
  • Rob having an impromptu snooze in front of a temple in Sri Lanka

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