What a big boy! The baby squirrels are growing up! They are about 10 weeks old now and have almost doubled in size since coming to WTS, they are now just over 1/2 pound each. I've been putting their cage outside in good weather and taking them out on the hammock, but today, after watching squirrel mum's with their youngsters in the WTS forest, I followed their example, and gave the little ones a nudge to explore. Little brother went straight up a tree! After a few up & downs, little sister followed him. It looked like they were having the best time, they went so high, and I was so proud of them!! They really are little wild squirrels which made me so happy to see. I don't really understand why people want ot keep wild animals as pets when it is so magical to see them run around and making sense of their wonderful wild world. Then we went to collect greens for the bunnies and the little squirrels were so tired they fell asleep in my hoodie!
But there are not always happy success stories in wildlife rehabilitation. This dear little Eastern chipmunk was brought in a couple of days ago. You can see how tiny she was. She was about 3 weeks old, and still had her eyes closed. Apparently some people had found her and said that her mother would not take her back. This rarely happens and makes me wonder whether this really was the mother, or perhaps the mother knew that there was something wrong with her. Baby chipmunks will also rarely leave the nest unless they are abandoned/orphaned. If this was the case, it is likely she had some brothers and sisters who were still in the nest and did not make it. Apparently she did alright with the people for a week or so, but they brought her in when she was suddenly failing to thrive. We kept her warm, and gave her antibiotics in case she had an infection, perhaps pneumonia from inhaling formula into her lungs. I fed her every two hours to help keep her weight and hydration up. She seemed to rally yesterday morning, but by last night I was worried. She crawled off her heating pad sometime this morning and passed on. Apparently many baby animals will leave their heat source before dying. It's their way of letting go I suppose. But in her short life she was very cared for and made a lot of people happy!