Say hello to Elmer the Northern Flying Squirrel. Elmer is a 2 year old male flying squirrel who came to us as a juvenile in 2015. He sadly had been caught in a glue trap often used to catch insects or mice. When he arrived at our facility, all 4 limbs including his stomach and tail were stuck to the glue trap. With the help of some of our fabulous staff and volunteers, we were able to free Elmer from his predicament. Unfortunately, Elmer suffered some spinal damage in his tail preventing him from being released back into the wild.
There are two types of Flying Squirrels that reside in Wisconsin. There are the Northern Flying Squirrels, which are much larger in comparison as well as the hair on their stomachs is slate gray at the base and white at the tip. There are also Southern Flying Squirrels which are smaller, but the hair on their stomach is all white. Neither, however, actually fly at all. They have large flaps of skin between their front and hind legs. They outstretch their limbs creating a parachute type of effect, and they glide from one spot to another. They can glide as far as 295ft, but typically only go 20-30 feet on average.
Flying Squirrels are primarily nocturnal animals, but you may occasionally see them out during the day searching for extra food. They are omnivorous, and primarily will eat nuts, fruits, vegetables, or insects. We have a resident group of flying squirrels at our Woodland Building. Stop on out and see these amazing creatures, and if you’re lucky you may just see them “flying” from tree to tree.