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Japanese squirrel Sciurus lis

Animals in our sanctuary

Date taken in

Ravi comes from a confiscation. Japanese squirrels are not allowed to be kept as pets, nor are they suitable for such purposes.


The Japanese squirrel is very similar in appearance to our native red squirrel. They are about the same size, with a predominantly red-brown colouring and a white belly and tufted ears. As the species is also sometimes bred to be sold as pets, non-natural colour variants exist as well.

The Japanese squirrel, like most other species of squirrels, is solitary. However, it is possible that during the winter they will stay in a nest with several of them together to be a bit more comfortable.

The Japanese squirrel is found on all major islands of Japan except the northernmost, Hokkaido. There you will find the red squirrel.

Reproduction in the wild
The Japanese squirrel has a mating season that runs from February to June, during which it may make two nests. However, it usually only sticks to one. The gestation period is around 40 days, after which two to five, sometimes six, kits are born. After about seven weeks, these are independent and start exploring their own territory.

Besides natural predators (mainly snakes, birds of prey and foxes), the Japanese squirrel has also been hunted by humans as a food source, and for their fur. This pressure on the population is not high though, so the Japanese squirrel is not really threatened anywhere.

Adopt this Japanese squirrel