This story began in October 2016 in South Africa. Simone Serfontein found a tiny squirrel no more than a week old in the yard of her friend’s house. The cub cried and called for its mother, but she never showed up, apparently afraid of people.
Simone had to take on the responsibilities of caring for Digentzhi – so she named her new pet. At that time, she doubted that the squirrel would survive without a mother at all, but she did not dare to leave it on the street. And so began this long story that has been going on for almost 5 years.
Simone and her boyfriend Christophe knew nothing about how to care for newborn squirrels and turned to specialists for advice.
Simone made her pet a cozy nest out of a shoebox, and in order to observe the feeding regime of Digentzhi, she had to get up several times a night. Simone even went to work with her for a while.
« I’ve never thought that growing a squirrel could be so difficult, » Simone admits.
The squirrel quickly got stronger, ate a lot, slept, and gained strength. Soon she switched from milk to the usual squirrel’s food. As she grew older, she became warier of people. The only person Digentzhi trusted absolutely was her « foster mother ».
Simone knew that the moment was coming when she would have to set Digentzhi free because she was a wild animal, created for life in nature. Together with Christophe, they carried the squirrel out into the yard and let her go on the grass. Digentzhi quickly climbed up the tree.
« It was pretty amazing and sad at the same time. »
It seemed that this was the end of the story, but no. At night, Digentzhi returned home as if nothing had happened. The same thing happened the next day, and the third… In the end, they began to leave an open window for her, so that Digentzhi could go and come at any time she wanted.
After a year and a half, Digentzhi became pregnant, and on April 24, 2018, Simone became an unofficial « grandmother ».
The newborn was named Misty. Digentji allowed Simone to touch Misty and even hold her in her arms. This is a sign of the highest trust that animals can have.
« To be honest, it’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced, » says Simone.
Now Simone has already married, and Digentzhi and Misty have their own « Instagram », @dingetjiethesquirrel where you can watch these unusual squirrels.