How long do squirrels live?

We see them in the park, we see them going around from tree to tree and most of the times, we see our dogs going after them. We’re talking about squirrels!

Today, we’re going to take a look at these tiny but very fast animals to understand more about their life expectancy and how long they can live in captivity vs in the wild. Let’s begin.


    Squirrels lifespan

    But the things about squirrels is that they actually have a somewhat long lifespan, and can manage to live anywhere from 6 to 10 years, with some of them even surpassing this mark.

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    How long do squirrels live in the wild?

    Let’s talk a little bit about squirrels and their natural habitat and predators before we get to talk about their actual lifespan. You see, squirrels usually live in wooded areas, since they are often found closer to the trees.

    A fun fact about squirrels is that they can be found almost anywhere in the world except for the Antarctica, but other than that, every country has squirrels!

    That being said, these tiny animals have a lot of natural predators they have to protect themselves from such as: hawks, coyotes, snakes, foxes and even owls, which, of course, makes them a very easy prey to get.

    Due to these factors, squirrels living in the wild usually live anywhere from 6 to 10 years, although some squirrels living in captivity can actually extend their life expectancy way over the 10 year mark.

    How long do squirrels live in captivity?

    Like we mentioned before, squirrels actually do live longer in captivity than in the wild, being able to live up to 24 years, having a much longer life expectancy in captivity than in the wild.

    How long do squirrels live?

    The reason why squirrels living in captivity get to live longer is actually very simple: they don’t have to deal or be nearby their natural predators, which instantly increases their lifespan.

    It is important to mention that squirrels both living in captivity and in the wild keep their same diet in both cases, meaning they continue to eat large amounts of fruits, grains and nuts.

    Life expectancy of squirrels according to the species

    Red squirrel

    • In the wild: 5 years.
    • In captivity: 10 years.

    Flying squirrels

    • In the wild: 6 years.
    • In captivity: 15 years.

    Ground squirrel

    7-9 years.


    15-18 years.

    Black giant squirrel

    18 years in captivity.

    Indian giant squirrel/Malabar giant squirrel

    20 years in captivity.

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