Oh Baby, what a victory!

Housing bosses have backed down over a Huddersfield woman’s fight to keep a tame squirrel called Baby.

Sue Booth, of Dukewood Road, Clayton West, was devastated after she was sent a letter by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, (KNH), telling her she was not permitted to keep the bushy-tailed pet.

The kind-hearted grandmother had nursed the animal back to life after she found it lying next to its dead mother more than a year ago. It was thought to be only a few days old.


She named it Baby and placed it in a large pen at the back of her home to the delight of her grandchildren who adored watching her play with it and tickling its tummy.

But the Examiner revealed that Mrs Booth, 60, had been sent a letter from housing officials informing her that keeping Baby was illegal under the Destructive Imported Animals Act. And that was despite Natural England, the government’s adviser on the natural environment, granting her a five year licence.

Mrs Booth said she was heartbroken when she received the letter but immediately started a successful online petition designed to keep Baby at the home she has rented since 1997.

Video Loading

She said more than1,300 people had signed it prior to Baby being given a reprieve.

In a second letter to Mrs Booth, a KNH area housing manager, has said: “I understand that you have now secured a licence from Natural England which permits you to keep the squirrel captive subject to conditions.

“In light of this information, whilst KNH will not give permission for customers to keep wild animals, we will not take any further action, or ask you to rehome the squirrel at this time.”

Mrs Booth said: “It’s amazing and a big weight off my mind. The public backing has been great and my grandchildren are delighted at the decision.

“There’s no way Baby could have been rehabilitated. She has no fear of dogs or human beings and is totally tame.”