She was unique. While the other squirrels ran away, she remained behind to look at the family she considered her own. Eight years later, she continued to pay them a visit to see what they were up to. A bowl of nuts was left on the front porch, and it was refilled regularly. So essentially, this had become her safe space. But one day, she shocked them with a visit, unlike any other when she brought them the most incredible gift ever.
Brantley and John Harrison devoted their lives to taking care of wild animals. As a little girl, Brantley’s grandmother, Mamie “Lulla” Hunt taught her to look after all of Nature’s animals. When she grew up, Brantley founded a wildlife rescue group with her husband John in Greenville, South Carolina. The couple’s love grew stronger when they ran into Bella. But what they hadn’t realized was that Bella was going to steal their hearts.
Bella had been injured by an owl when she was a baby. But the Harrisons took her in and managed to save the precious little squirrel before it was too late. Bella eventually healed and continued to grow. She also made some squirrel friends named Larry, Moe and Curly. The Harrisons knew it in their gut that even at four weeks old, Bella was going to make one fantastic new friend.
Bella was too young to be returned to the wild, so the Harrisons decided to wait until spring to release her. Meanwhile, Bella and her Stooges spent most of their day eating nuts, veggies and fruits. The Harrisons had no reason to doubt that Bella was normal. She behaved just like all the other squirrels they had helped. But a few years later, they came to the conclusion that Bella was unlike any squirrel they had ever encountered.
Bella and her squirrel friends had fully healed, so there was only one thing left to do. The Harrisons had no choice but to return the squirrels to the wild. So, they opened the cage, and the other squirrels raced towards a couple of trees. But Bella wasn’t behaving the same way as her fellow squirrels.
The Harrisons went home feeling a little sad. They knew they would probably never see the squirrels again. But they were proud of the work they accomplished. At least the squirrels were back to full health. Best of all, all four squirrels had fully adapted to the wild after a full week.They were going to miss these little ones, especially, Bella. But not for long.
Just days after being released into the wild, Bella returned! It seemed like she wasn’t ready to part ways with her human family. The Harrisons knew this was a typical behavior for squirrels. It’s how they adjusted to their new life. A few short days later, the other squirrels stopped visiting the Harrisons and avoided human contact. But Bella simply wasn’t ready to let go of the family who had saved her life.
For the next eight years, Bella continued to visit the Harrisons. She waited by the front door and expected them to let her in every time. Her unannounced visits became quite common. The Harrisons placed a bowl of nuts on their porch, so Bella could munch on them. But then, Bella learned that waiting by her human family’s door was not the best way to grab their attention.
She used the windowsills to climb up. Then she peered inside until someone saw her. She didn’t like it when people petted her, but she didn’t mind eating her snacks while sitting on someone’s lap. “She comes almost daily for a little loving, treats, and to torment our dog, Cid, through the glass door,” Harrison explained to MSN. But the family had no clue what awaited them.
Bella was practically a part of the family, and everyone had fallen head over heels in love with her. She even got tons of attention on Instagram! But despite her bond with the Harrisons, her natural instincts constantly called her to the wild. Then, one day, something bad happened.
During a visit, the Harrisons realized Bella had hurt one of her legs. They wanted to repair her injury, but her wild instincts took over. She refused to let the family recapture her. Then, a few days later, Bella turned up on their doorstep, and they immediately knew that something wasn’t quite right with her.
Eventually, Bella climbed on the windowsill, did a little thumping around, and allowed herself to get captured by the Harrisons. They provided her with antibiotics, gave her sustenance, and took care of her leg. Once again, Bella was on her way to a full recovery. But then, the Harrisons noticed that Bella had left something unexpected on their property.
Bella had allowed herself to get caught. The Harrisons knew that this was not the way a wild animal behaved. So, this was very unusual. But soon, it all became quite clear. Bella had given birth to three babies in a nest she made. The family realized Bella had returned to them because she knew this was the one place on Earth where her babies would be okay.
The Harrisons were stunned. Wild animals are extremely overprotective of their babies. So, the family couldn’t believe that Bella had placed so much trust in them. The Harrisons had nurtured her when she was young, and this was her way of telling them that she trusted them completely. “It was truly amazing to watch the baby I raised raise her own babies,” Harrison explained.
“She is a very special squirrel and has always had a large local following,” said Harrison. “She has changed the way many of my friends think of squirrels, especially the ones she has met. The kids just love to come over and feed her.” The internet loves Bella, but the Harrisons also want to educate everyone on the way they view animals. “If Bella can teach at least one person to have compassion for all living things, no matter how big or how small, then we have done what we have set out to.”