CHICAGO (CBS) — A wildlife rescue group spent hours Thursday night untangling the knotted tails of four baby squirrels.

The squirrels were found in Chicago, and Animal Care and Control notified Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in Barrington.

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Flint Creek founder and director Dawn Keller said the baby squirrels’ tails might initially have become sticky from tree sap, and they ended up “pulling in opposite directions, because they’re scared.”

“As each one pulls, it tightens and hurts the tails of all of them, and so then they panic,” she said.

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The tails were impossibly tangled and knotted, and the squirrels were pulling and crying, according to Keller.

“Believe it or not, we put each of them in a sock, just so that if they moved at all they’d be contained, because it was really like unraveling a puzzle. It was feeling the knot of tails and figuring out which squirrel to move, which location, flipping them around, moving one over the other,” Keller said.

It took Flint Creek about 2 ½ hours to get the squirrels free.

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Each suffered multiple fractures in their tails. They were recovering Friday at the wildlife center.