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Venezuelan migrant prepares to part ways with beloved squirrel after almost stepping on rodent as baby

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Their long, hairy friendship is about to end – all because of the crisis at the southern border.

A migrant who befriended a squirrel in his native Venezuela, raising the rodent after nearly stepping on the creature as a baby, is expected to have to part with his bushy-tailed companion as he begs for l asylum in the United States.

The man, known only as Yeison, named the squirrel Niko.

The two men are inseparable, including during the perilous journey from Venezuela to the American border. On the road, Niko travels in Yeison’s backpack.

“I don’t want him to be separated from me, because I know it would hurt our hearts. I’m sure,” Yeison, 23, said. “And if he doesn’t get sick, I hope he’s happy.” And may he never forget my face.

However, this separation seems more and more likely. Yeison got a coveted appointment Saturday to appear at the border and formally request asylum. Animals are generally not allowed to cross.

Venezuelan migrant Yeison and his beloved squirrel Niko.
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Desperate measures are now being taken to allow Niko to enter the United States.
Desperate measures are now being taken to allow Niko to enter the United States.
P.A.

“It would pretty much be like starting from scratch, without Niko,” Yeison lamented.

All hope is not lost for Yeison and Niko, however. Ayudándoles A Triunfar, a local non-governmental organization, said it was working with a veterinarian to ensure Niko had received all necessary vaccinations.


Niko stands on Yeison's shoulders in their tent at a migrant camp.
Niko stands on Yeison’s shoulders in their tent at a migrant camp.
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“There is a bond between him and the squirrel, so much so that he preferred to take it with him rather than leave the squirrel with his family in Venezuela and face the dangers that accompany the migrant journey . They gave themselves courage,” said Ayudándoles A Triunfar, director Gladys Cañas.

During President Biden’s term, migrants have flocked to the U.S. border in record numbers. Since 2021, 3.8 million people have sought shelter indoors.

With post wires

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