The squaddie and the squirrel: Soft-hearted soldier who nursed dying baby creature back to health by feeding it every four hours
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 00:54, 30 September 2012 | UPDATED: 01:50, 30 September 2012
A kind-hearted soldier rescued a baby squirrel on the verge of death and then nursed him back to health by feeding him every four hours.
Warrant officer Pyotr Pankratau was serving in the Belarussian army when he discovered the tiny baby squirrel under a tree.
Despite his military duties, Pankratau took him back to base and managed to squeeze in feeds of milk every four hours around his busy schedule.
Adorable: Warrant officer Pyotr Pankratau was serving in the Belarussian army when he found the baby squirrel under a tree
Best friends: Pyotr Pankratau and his squirrel Minsk are now inseparable after he nursed the sick animal back to health
Yum: Pankratau fed Minsk with baby food and milk every four hours until he got better
Incredibly, the baby squirrel made a full recovery and stayed with Pankratau throughout his two years of service in the army.
Pankratau named the squirrel Minsk - after the Belarus capital - and he now never leaves his side.
Minsk even accompanies Pankratau, now a taxi driver, as he drives passengers around the city.
He told Euro Radio: 'He was lying unconscious under the tree. There were worms in his mouth and right eye so I took them out. Two weeks later everything got back to normal.
Backseat driver: Pankratau left the army and now works as a taxi driver - with Minsk by his side
Kicking back: Minsk is well-trained and stays in his designated areas of the car
Popular: While Minsk mainly keeps out of sight of customers, the friendly squirrel is a favourite with children
Furry pals: The squirrel Minsk shares a snack with a feline friend
'I fed him with baby food and milk through a syringe every four hours.
'Then his teeth came out and he started eating himself.
'Half a year later I vaccinated and registered him.'
These adorable pictures show Minsk on his rounds with Pankratau who says he is well trained and sticks to certain parts of the taxi so he doesn't disturb the customers.
He added: 'I don't show him to everyone. Why disturb him all the time? I show him to kids.'
Hats off: One of Minsk's favourite places to have a nap is in Pankratau's military caps
Sleepyhead: Minsk is also happy to use Pankratau as a pillow if there aren't any hats around
Domesticated: Minsk is now a house squirrel and lives indoors
Read more: The squaddie and the squirrel: Soft-hearted soldier who nursed dying baby creature back to health by feeding it every four hours | Mail Online