Last Thursday I brought my first set of squirrels back home from the Wildlife Center and released them. Yay!
I actually got a bonus squirrel out of the deal. I had been down at the center a couple of days earlier. When I checked out the enclosure, I was quite surprised to see a black squirrel running around with my guys. What probably happened was that s/he escaped from one of the other enclosures and whoever caught him/her didn’t know which one s/he came out of. Oh well, no such thing as too many squirrels in my mind! 🙂
Here’s a first look at my new set.
The first one I got, the black one, opened his eyes today. One of the others also had just a slight opening in one eye at the last feeding.
The three smaller ones are still a little thin, but they seem to be getting a little more robust and energetic at each feeding. Two of them had bloody noses first thing this morning, but those seem to have cleared up. The weird thing, though, is that not one of them (not even the big one) has peed once for me while stimulating them. They don’t seem to be uncomfortable, so I assume they’ve been going in the carrier (you can’t really tell, because at this size we’re talking just a few drops). They have been pooping to various degrees and, as I said, they seem healthy otherwise, so I’ll try not to worry too much about it for the time being.
Three more squirrels came into the center today. I brought them home and kept them separated from my other guy until their next feeding, then put them all in together. I have one more feeding to go today, so I’ll have a chance to see how they’re getting along before I go to bed.
Well, I’m a Mom again.
There are still some stragglers coming into the wildlife center, so I picked up a new little guy today. He’s already about 120 grams, but his eyes haven’t opened yet. I was supposed to get two more that are currently at another volunteer’s home, but apparently one of them has diarrhea, so they want to get him stabilized before handing him off to me. But whether it’s those particular ones, I’ll definitely get another two or three in the next couple of days, so this guy won’t have to be alone for too long.
My new charge is almost completely black, totally different from my last bunch. Because I just picked him up today, I’ll wait to take some pics so he can get settled into his new environment. I’ve fed him once since I got him home. It’s really weird to be holding such a small one again.
As for my first set, I’ll be going into the center tomorrow to pick up some more formula, so I’ll check on how they’re doing. I’m really looking forward to seeing them again!
I finally have a chance to report on how the transfer to the enclosure at the wildlife center went last Monday.
The first challenge was just transferring them from their cage to the cat carrier. Three of them went easily; the other two, not so much. But eventually I managed to snag all five of them. I put some of their bedding in the carrier with them so they’d have familiar scents around them during the trip.
Here’s a picture of their new home:
It’s 4′ x 6′ x 8′, which gives them a heckuva lot more room for running and climbing than the little cage in my spare room. Before I moved them in, I did a little prep work. I had taken the nest material from their hammock at home with me and filled up their new hammock with it, and spread some food around the ground to give them an incentive to come out of the carrier.
More pics. My little charges will be heading back to the Wildlife Center tomorrow to spend a few weeks in a large outdoor enclosure until they’re ready to be released. So I’m posting a bunch more photos so we won’t forget them while they’re gone. 🙂 The good news is that they will be back, as the plan is to release them in my own backyard. I already have a few eastern grey squirrels here, so we know it will be a suitable environment for them. Until then, though…
Another video. I shot these clips by holding the camera, rather than using the tripod, so they may be a little shakier than usual. But it was easier for me to follow the action this way.
These were taken when they’ve been going to town on the solid food after their formula feeding. I had tried avocado when they were younger and they didn’t seem to go for it. But as you’ll see in the last shot, that’s not the case anymore. One of the things I find really funny about these guys is when one of them is eating something, like a grape or a dandelion leaf, and another one tries to eat it at the same time, even though there are plenty more of the same thing in the cage.
I don’t have a shot of this, but one of the girls was able to crack open a walnut yesterday. Previously, they could only get into them if they were partially cracked already, but she definitely got this one started all on her own.
On another note… I’ve mentioned a few times about the wonders of Pedialyte for taking care of the squirrels’ various health problems. Today, I ran across this article about some athletes swearing by it as well:
> Three Yards and a Drink That Tastes Like Dust
Again, a routine day today. In fact, unless something unusual happens in the next few days, or I get some particularly great pics or video footage of the gang, I may not post about them again until Monday. They’ll be fully weaned by then, so I’ll be taking them all back to the center to be housed in a large outdoor enclosure for a few weeks. There, they’ll be able to run and climb a lot more and also get used to being outside, while still being in a safe environment. After that, they’ll be ready for release.
Sigh. They grow up so fast. 🙂
Nothing special to report today, so I’ll just post a few new pics. I was able to take these through the open door of the cage, so you can actually SEE the squirrels here… 🙂
I love this first one, with the little guy just peeking his face out from the hammock.
I was finally able to get my little guy out of the cage today—twice! In the morning, he only drank 3cc of formula, but my bigger goal was to weigh him, since I hadn’t been able to for a couple of days. Well, easier said than done… When I put him in the shoebox on the scale, he wouldn’t pause for the second it takes for the scale to register the correct weight. Instead, it kept rotating through a list of numbers, ranging from about 180g to 290g! Not too helpful. But I was able to weigh him this evening, and he seems to still be gaining weight, so that’s good.