4 min read

Baby Squirrel Who Lost His Whole Family Begins His Journey Home

On a walk home from school, two children stumbled upon something unusual in their backyard ... three babies who had been left out in the cold.

Three squirrel babies.

With their mother nowhere to be found, the three baby squirrels were left exposed to the cold Minnesota weather.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

The two children asked their father if they could bring the squirrels into the family.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

"We have fish. That's enough," said their father, Joe Ronlon, who works as an engineer for Town Square Television (TST) in Grove Heights.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

But Ronlon knew that if the squirrels were left outside, they'd probably freeze to death.

It was then that Ronlon agreed to rescue the baby squirrels.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Unfortunately, the cold was too much for two of the squirrels, and by the end of the night, only one of the three squirrel siblings had survived. So the Ronlon family focused on keeping the remaining squirrel healthy.

"The first thing [to do] was getting some fluids in him," Ronlon told TST.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Fans of Pokemon, the Ronlon children named the baby squirrel Chibi (pronounced Chi-bai).

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

During Chibi's stay, he got a tour of the studio where Ronlon works and met some friendly faces, too.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

But, despite Chibi's warm welcome, Ronlon never forgot that Chibi was not a pet, but a rescued animal. A human home was no place for a wild squirrel.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

"[We] definitely need to get him released by 12 weeks," Ronlon told TST as the squirrel climbed into his hand.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

The family brought Chibi to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, where he will be examined and admitted into the wildlife nursery with hundreds of other squirrels.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

"During the course of the year, we'll raise about 1,500 squirrels," Phill Jenni, executive director of the rehabilitation center, told TST.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

There, Chibi will be enrolled into the center's rehabilitation program, so he can learn to live independently in the wild.

Vimeo/Town Square Television

Vimeo/Town Square Television

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota is a nonprofit that has served over 10,000 animals so far in 2015. Learn how you can support its efforts to return injured and rescued wildlife back to their natural habitats.

Watch Chibi and the Ronlon family's full story below .