It was a night Samantha Morin and her family in Vanderhoof are unlikely to forget.
It was late Wednesday night last week when her husband was getting home from work when they saw their cat had something sticking out of its mouth.
“We went over to see what it was, and it was a squirrel tail sticking out of his mouth, unfortunately,” Morin said.
“We saw another little guy just on the ground, and my husband just picked him up, and he crawled up his neck and just stayed there. He did not want to get down.”
The Morins at first believed the frightened creature had to have been someone’s pet before they took to Google and learned it was a northern flying squirrel likely just between just 7 to 10 weeks old.
Inside their home, they tried to place the squirrel inside a cardboard box.
“He actually ended up escaping and running all through our house and gliding onto the curtains,” Morin said.
“It was pretty wild.”
Knowing her cousin had a cage with supplies for rats, including bedding, Morin went and got a more suitable temporary bed for the squirrel to rest their head.
Before the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers came to pick up the flying squirrel late in the afternoon the following day, Morin’s children, who are very familiar with handling cats and dogs, gently rubbed his tiny back and nose.
“They loved him,” she said of their two-and-a-half and one-year-old daughters.
On social media, Morin had shared some photos of the relatively tame nocturnal critter with users quickly sharing their opinions, including making sure that the Morins did not keep the squirrel as a pet which Morin said was never their intention.
Others said they have seen many flying squirrels around their own homes in Vanderhoof, which Morin was surprised by as she said this was her first time seeing one at their mostly treed property on Sturgeon Point Road.
Morin said she could not interact for long with the volunteer from the wildlife rescue, who was also picking up a coyote cub and baby otter along the way to Smithers.
On Monday, July 5, Northern Lights Wildlife Society co-founder and co-manager Angelika Langen said the flying squirrel was alright.
“She’s lively and doing well,” Langen said. “She’s going to be with us for a while, probably end of August, beginning of September.”
Flying squirrels, according to Langen, are less likely to become habituated than ordinary squirrels that are active during the day.