What would you do if you saw a strange creature lying on the ground? Would you pick it up and take care of it? Or since you didn’t know what it was, would you leave it alone, and let nature do its thing?
While outside of his home, Jeff Longo noticed something on the sidewalk that made him take a double look. It seemed like a regular sunny day in Florida, but right in front of Jeff was an extremely small creature laying on the sidewalk, absolutely frying in the horrible heat of Florida.
Jeff knew that without immediate care, there was absolutely no way that the tiny creature would survive. So, he took control of the situation. He picked up the little animal and hurried straight up to his house. It seemed like the animal wouldn’t live through its ordeal, but this story takes a turn for the best. It’s a perfect example of putting good out, and getting it back in return. But before all of that, what exactly was it that Jeff found in his yard?
The creature appeared to be more alien-like than an actual animal. It was hairless, had tiny claws, and was blind. It wasn’t exactly cute and cuddly when Jeff found it in Tampa, Florida. Jeff figured that somehow the animal was left in the hands of nature after being separated from its family. Jeff couldn’t just allow the creature to suffer under the blazing heat of Florida’s unforgiving sun, even if he had no idea what it was the he was looking at. There was no way that was happening.
Considering the creature was the size of Jeff’s pinkie, it was pretty safe to assume that the animal he found was the baby of a smaller type of animal, like a rat. But, nature’s ways can be a bit tricky, so you never know. When a baby kangaroo is born, they’re about the size of a grain of rice before it reaches its mom’s pouch to continue to grow. So, if you take that into consideration, Jeff could’ve stumbled across any type of mammal.
Because it was so small, there was no way for Jeff to tell what the creature was. In this day in age, what do we do when we don’t know something? Head to the Internet! Jeff began a Reddit search to find out what he could do. Of course, like most people on the internet, Reddit users told Jeff that the creature was a lost cause, and that it would end up dying very soon. Jeff refused to listen to the “experts” on Reddit. He believed that the creature was sent to him for a reason. Using determination, attention and love, Jeff helped his tiny friend grow into an adorable animal.
Even though he still couldn’t tell what it was, he was able to find enough information to give the animal a healthy diet to get it back to good health. Jeff made a mixture of puppy formula and heavy cream, and began bottle feeding. After a while its hair began to grow, and its whiskers got longer, too! It began to get stronger and bigger everyday, until it finally opened its eyes! And it sure did have some big eyes! It was certainly growing cuter, and Jeff could tell it was some sort of rodent, but something was still a bit off.
Jeff had never nursed an animal back to health, but over the next three months he did everything he possibly could for his new furry friend. He even named his little buddy Biscuit! Over time, the animal’s ears popped out, and it grew even more fur! It no longer looked like some sort of alien, but more like a kind of gerbil. But Jeff still wasn’t able to tell what kind of creature Biscuit actually was. Was it hamster? Or maybe a guinea pig?
So, what animal family did Biscuit actually belong to? Biscuit began growing gray fur from the tip of her nose all the way down to the tip of her tail. Considering that Biscuit’s tail had fur all over it, it absolutely ruled out her being a rat. The underside of Biscuit’s belly was covered in white fur. Look at her holding her little tail! It looks like she’s waiting for some wonderful belly rubs!
Having to raise a baby of unknown origin, that still required nurturing, was tough for Jeff. But because he is a very persistent person, Biscuit didn’t just survive, she thrived! Even the family dogs got along with Biscuit! They were able to understand that Biscuit was a “friend, not food.” After a while, Biscuit got used to living with Jeff. It appeared that even the dogs like having her around, too. “I just have to watch them so they don’t accidentally squish her,” Longo told the Daily Mail jokingly.
Biscuit went everywhere with Jeff, even to his place of work. Apparently, they don’t mind having tiny unknown creatures hanging out. After a while, Biscuit would ride in Jeff’s pocket. As Biscuit’s eyes grew, and her tail got bushier, people around Jeff thought that Biscuit was a tree squirrel. But when Jeff took a closer look, he realized there was something a bit different about Biscuit.
Jeff found a few clues that helped him identify Biscuit. Biscuit had a bit of extra skin right around her underarm, her tail was pretty flat, but bushy. She had big eyes that were designed to help her see at night time. So, Jeff went back to doing research. He found out that Biscuit was actually a southern flying squirrel, a creature of the night, that can glide for more than 150 feet!
Once Jeff was able to put all of the pieces together, he was more capable of giving Biscuit the perfect diet, nutrition, and living environment in order for her to thrive. Jeff realized Biscuit really liked fruits, seeds, and nuts. Once he realized her true nature, he tried really hard to create the ultimate environment for her. He even added a pouch into Biscuit’s cage when he found out that flying squirrels liked to live in smaller places, like woodpecker holes and nest boxes.
Any time he’s home, Jeff lets Biscuit out of her cage so she can explore! He told Daily Mail that in order to let Biscuit grab onto things and crawl around, Jeff covered all of his furniture with cloth to make it easier for her. Jeff realized Biscuit needed a bit more room to be able to spread out her wings, so he created a Gofundme, so he could raise funds for a new enclosure. Biscuit loves her new home! The next question Jeff had to answer was whether or not to keep Biscuit as a pet.
That’s not the easiest question to answer. Even though many people believe it may be best for her to be released, there’s a good chance that Biscuit wouldn’t survive on her own. Having been hand-raised by Jeff at such an incredibly young age, and the fact that she has gotten used to dogs, Biscuit has absolutely no fear of humans, which could get her into trouble. So, only one thing can happen…
Jeff will have to continue to take care of Biscuit, but that’s what family’s for! It appears that Biscuit seems pretty happy where she is anyways. If Jeff wouldn’t have intervened, Biscuit would have surely perished. Instead, she got a new dad and best friend!
Biscuit has even been seen trying out her skills on this tiny skateboard. Thanks, Jeff, for not giving up on Biscuit, and thanks, Biscuit, for not giving up on yourself, and having the perseverance to fight against all the odds against you…and thanks to the both of them for their incredibly heartwarming story!