They’re Kung Fu Squirrels!
I love watching these guys playing like this. Not just because it’s entertaining, but because I know they’re building up their muscles and developing important skills so that, when the time comes, they’ll be good and ready for their new lives in the wild.
As of yesterday, both of my “little ones” were over 250g!
And while they still seem to enjoy a good snooze…
…they’re both starting to get a lot more curious and playful, as you can see in the short video clip.
We got a note this week as well from the woman who took in the Fox squirrel I watched for a few days last week. Apparently she fit right in with her new family. Yay!
I said goodbye to my Fox squirrel today. She gained about 15g while she was here, and started climbing, so I guess she did okay by me. But June managed to find a volunteer from another wildlife center who had taken in two small male Foxes in May, still with their eyes closed, and now my little one will be joining them.
Even though I only had her for a few days, I’m going to miss her. No matter how hard we try, you can’t help but become attached to a living creature that depends on you for its very life (and I think anyone who could stay completely detached wouldn’t be likely to sign up for this gig!). But we always have to consider what’s best for our furry friends and there’s no doubt that she’ll be a lot happier with two big brothers showing her the ropes.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I had seen a Fox squirrel in my backyard in the morning. Well, I saw him/her there again today and I managed to get a quick pic before it scurried off.
Even in the shadows, you can make out the distinctive red underside. They’re really quite lovely. I hope s/he sticks around a while…
Since we thought that squirrel season was over for the time being (ha!), I had signed up to start working a regular shift at the Center again. So I happened to be there on Friday morning when we got yet another squirrel in that was quite a bit smaller (129g) than should have been out there by this time of the year. And so, of course, I brought her home with me…
I mentioned last week that I had taken in two stragglers. Well, so far they’ve been doing very well. They have really healthy appetites, they’re peeing and pooping the way they should, and (knock on wood), no one’s come down with any kind of illness. There’s just one thing…
This is one of the squirrels from my last set. Too bad we all can’t clean up this quickly—imagine how much time we’d save in the morning!
However, the downstairs neighbours might not enjoy it…
Welcome to Life in Squirreldom!
I began chronicling my experiences fostering orphaned squirrels for the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley on my other blog, Embrace Adventure, but have decided that these little guys are interesting enough to warrant their own blog. 🙂 If you’d like to see how it all started, check out this page that tells the story of the first set I raised, right from the beginning.
Now to what’s new… Last week, I released the set I fostered this spring into my backyard. It was bittersweet, because one of the squirrels had passed away while it was in the outdoor enclosure, where we put them for a few weeks between home care and release. We don’t know what happened. I also don’t know which specific one it was, but that’s probably just as well. They’re all special and the loss of any one is definitely a sad occurrence after we’ve put so much time into getting them to that point. But unfortunately, sometimes they have internal injuries or some other condition that doesn’t show up until they’re older.
But the other five were more than healthy, as our squirrel coordinator, June, could attest to when she tried to catch them to put them in carriers so I could bring them home. They gave her a real run for her money, which is the best possible sign that they’re truly wild, and that we’ve done our jobs correctly!
I took my last two squirrels of this season to the Center today to join their four “siblings” in an outdoor enclosure for the next few weeks until I can release them all back into the wild.
Speaking of wild, that’s the way we’re describing this season after the huge onslaught of the wee critters we received. I don’t know what the final count is (and there could still be stragglers), but we usually get around 50 in March. This year there were more than 80!