Squirrel ‘hitchhikes’ cross-country to come home to Utah

Posted at 10:07 PM, Nov 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-27 00:07:27-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A squirrel from Utah went on a 3,000-mile journey through the Rocky Mountains and into the Midwest.

A trucker lured the squirrel into a trap at a rest stop on the Utah/Wyoming border.  From there they headed east ending up near Madison, Wis., where the abducted squirrel became a house pet, and quickly wore out her welcome.

“The family very quickly discovered wildlife don't make good pets,” said Dalyn Erickson-Marthaler, Executive Director of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. “I can't imagine having a squirrel in your home -- they can be very destructive.”

The family received the squirrel as a gift from the trucker. After two months they dropped it off at the local humane society. Once the animal experts in Madison found out where the little critter belonged, a volunteer drove the 1,300 miles to bring her home to Utah.

“We don't like to see that happen to any kind of wildlife,” said wildlife volunteer David Hestand. “But the story of her traveling that far even though she was kidnapped and then managing to basically hitchhike back home is a great story,”

The rodent is back, but the journey isn't quiet over.

The squirrel will stay in the wildlife rehab center through the winter and since she's sticking around the volunteers thought she needed a name.

You can help pick between two names by voting on the Rehabilitation Center’s Facebook page: