North Texas Daily

Cedar the squirrel: man’s new best friend

Cedar the squirrel: man’s new best friend

Cedar the squirrel: man’s new best friend
February 16
23:53 2015

Kelsey Medina / Staff Writer

Some identify as dog people, others cat people, but 42-year-old physics freshman Nathan White identifies as a squirrel person.

White has a pet squirrel, and he said it’s not the first wild animal he has made his pet. Growing up in Oak Cliff, Texas, he had quite a few exotic animals – two ducks, a snake and a raccoon that his parents raised.

“They were all babies or abandoned,” White said. “It’s not like I do it on purpose. It’s more of a rescue, if I see a wild animal that I can help.”

Three years ago, White said he heard a crying noise coming from his mother’s Lewisville attic and stumbled across six baby squirrels. After bottle-feeding them, he released five but kept the runt of the litter who had a broken leg, and continued to nurse her back to health.

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Cedar the squirrel surveys the grass as owner Nathan White selects classes to register for. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

He named her Cedar after Cedar Keys Drive, the street his mother’s house is located on.

Tending to a squirrel involves a unique recipe. White said he collects everything that squirrels would naturally eat: acorns, mushrooms and different types of tree bark, but Cedar’s favorites are avocados and Texas-made beverage Dr. Pepper.

“She only drinks Dr. Pepper, no other soda,” White said. “When she gets thirsty or hungry, she will get cotton mouth and start to nibble.”

Cedar, like all squirrels, requires a certain amount of calcium a day, so White said he feeds her crushed up vitamin tablets and takes her on walks for sunlight.

Mean Greens For Animals is a campus organization aimed at providing resources for those interested in reducing animal suffering. They also call attention to the environmental, ethical and health benefits of reduced meat consumption, vegetarianism and veganism.

MGFA vice president Blake Geary said she took in a squirrel that was in danger once, but she does not support wild animal domestication or what White is doing with Cedar.

“I ultimately let the squirrel go because it wasn’t fair to him,” Geary said.  “If the domestication is detrimental to the animal’s wellbeing or the safety of the person doing the domestication, that is where I have a problem.”

White said he has tried releasing Cedar back into the wild since rescuing her, but has found that without a leash, the squirrel still chooses to stick around.

“She decided she wanted to stay with me,” White said. “Now I’m stuck with her for 20 years.”

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Cedar rests in Nathan White’s arms. Photo by Kelsey Medina – Staff Writer

It is a Class C Parks and Wildlife Code misdemeanor to posses a live game animal, and those who violate the code will be fined anywhere between $25 and $500, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.

Denton County game warden Daron Blackerby said this is an unusual situation and although there is no closed season for hunting squirrel, they are still considered wild game and illegal to own.

“I’ve never had to write a ticket for possessing a game animal,” Blackerby said. “If I were to witness this, I would attempt to inform that a fox squirrel in this case is a game animal and that you are not allowed to posses one or walk one down the sidewalk or road.”

White is aware of the law, but believes he is doing a service to the environment by raising injured and abandoned animals like Cedar.

“Ethically, I think I’m doing well by keeping her,” White said. “We have a bond now. I love her, and if they want to take that from me, they can try.”

For more information on what is classified as wild game, and the penalties that come with the possession of one, you can visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website at www.tpwd.texas.gov.

Featured Image: Cedar has been under White’s care for nearly three years after finding her in his mother’s attic. White said he claims to be an alpha male with a pet squirrel. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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1 Comment

  1. Kathleen Neubauer
    Kathleen Neubauer November 07, 16:38

    I hear you know about this squirrel…

    Reply to this comment

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