Skip to comments.For Wildlife Rehabilitators, The Busiest Season Has Arrived (Squirrels saving squirrels)
Posted on 03/21/2011 7:06:48 AM PDT by raybbr
SOMERS The first call came right at the beginning of March. A homeowner was removing old ceiling tiles from the attic when a litter of baby squirrels fell out. They were about 2 weeks old tiny and pink with only the faintest traces of gray fur and eyes that still hadn't opened. The creatures could easily have been mistaken for mice, as they often are at that age.
The homeowner said the mother was nowhere to be found, so wildlife rehabilitator Chris Clark of Somers agreed to take in the babies, beginning the spring season by the far the busiest time for the state's 265 wildlife rehabilitators almost a month earlier than usual.
Squirrels, followed by foxes, raccoons, skunks and rabbits, are the first animals born in the spring, usually arriving in the last two weeks of March, according to Laurie Fortin, who runs the Department of Environmental Protection's wildlife rehabilitation program. In May and June come the songbirds, fawns and just about everything else.
Generally, rehabilitators start getting calls in April, when baby animals are big enough to leave the nest and homeowners start their spring cleaning. Trees are trimmed, corners of the property are cleared, and the creatures that have taken up residence there are dislodged.
Unlike injured adult animals, whose run-ins with cats or cars don't vary much by season, the orphaned babies generally come all at once, meaning long days with little sleep for rehabilitators volunteers licensed by the DEP who care for the animals until they can be released.
(Excerpt) Read more at courant.com ...
I did some work for a lady here who rehabs birds of prey, eagles, owls, hawks and such. She gets no state funding from MI, but does accept donations to cover the costs of the rats and mice required to feed the critters. She also visits local grade schools with animals that have become acclaimed the people and cannot be released back into the wild. seeing a hawk/eagle soaring is one thing, up close and personal they are truly impressive.
oops, should have read ‘acclimated to people’. I’ll blame the bifocals, eh.
They've been playing daredevil with cars all around here. A lot of them are losing.
I simply cannot understand this.
They should donate these rodents in the story to her birds instead of trying to raise them. Problem solved.
That's commendable. At least there will squirrels for them to eat.
“They’ve been playing daredevil with cars all around here. A lot of them are losing.
I simply cannot understand this.”
Squirrels dart back and forth in front of cars because they’ve adapted that strategy to escape predators, like an evasive maneuver. Doesn’t work so well when the predator is going 40 mph in a straight line though. Natural selection apparently hasn’t had enough time to correct for the automobile yet :)
Other wise You well get run over.
I hate squirrels, but have raised two by hand. The dang things get into my garage and constantly attempt to get into my attic. I live in the city and they will not let me pop them with a shotgun. I have several pecan trees, so they like me.
Last Thursday another baby was on the ground as I took my garbage cans to the street to be picked up later. I reached down and picked it up, it was a little older than my previous pets had been, but too young to make it on his own. His legs were not sure footed for tree climbing, my cats would have him soon.
I took him to the house, mixed a little milk and egg up and eye dropped him a few ounces of it. He perked up right fast. But I knew I didn’t care to raise another one. I would not keep this one. I had some yard work to do, I would let the booger hang with me for now, but this one was NOT staying.
I saw an older semi neighborhood kid (16ish complete with skateboard from some project homes about 5 blocks away) slumbering around the block and called him over. He was interested of course, but not able to take pets. I doubt he was mature enough anyhoo. As we were talking by the roadside, an Mexican family was hauling some riding lawnmower behind his pickup and slowed down to look at the baby squirrel on my shoulder. I walked up the little man with his little son (age 8ish) in the cab, and said “Do you want a little pet”? He smiled and I put my new pet on his shoulder and said “feed him some milk and egg” for a day or so and peanut butter in a few days. He smiled and did a little bow, his son took a hold of his new pet and they drove off.
So somewhere a few blocks from my house a new squirrel has an actual name and a little boy will raise it for a few months and slowly it will become more and more wild and eventually it will not return from it’s tree adventures and become wild again. One of the easiest wild pets to raise, but hard to keep from going back feral unless you keep it completely inside.
I’ve raised several baby squirrels. They are loads of fun until their adult hormones kick in and they become territorial. I’ve wondered why squirrels were never domesticated. We have pet rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rats, etc., but no squirrels. Considering how cute and playful they are, it seems like breeding the wild out of them would have been done by now.
With the exception of the Norwegian Brown Rat, these critters are the most destructive. They love to eat the insulation off wires (frequently to their own detriment) causing huge sums of damage to homes and the infrastructure. They are fuzzy tailed rats pure and simple - nothing cute about them. Idiots feed them.
I used to hand feed neighborhood squirrels on my patio until I decided that it wasn't a good idea to have my fingers that close to jaws that are strong enough to crack walnuts.
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