Saying goodbye can be tough. This is a picture of me & Habakkuk, a Virginia opossum, the day before his release. Habby came to me with 6 brothers & sisters on 1July and weighed 40g (~1.5oz), they were about 10-13 weeks old. When he was released the other day he was almost 2 kilos (4.4lbs)!
The reason why Habby ended up staying longer than his siblings is because one of them bit off the tip of his tail back in July (opossums tend to bite at almost anything- I still have a healing finger after about a month!). It was healing just fine, but then got terribly infected and had to be amputated. You can see the little tail stub in this picture. It finally healed up nicely, and amazingly enough he still uses it to hook onto things!
WTS has also released lots of little squirrels over the past 2 weeks. Here is a picture of one of the little Red squirrels that is now running around the WTS woods. Reds are a HANDFUL! They are so high energy and if they come in past a certain age (~6 weeks or so) they do not like to be handled. But they are very cute! I just welcomed another one yesterday. He is still very young and likes to be held, which makes looking after him a lot easier.
OK, this isn't the greatest photograph, but you can just about make out 5 very cute little Grey squirrel faces all cozy in the hammock in their release cage. These 4 brothers & 1 sister were raised by another local rehabilitator and brought to WTS to be released here in the woods. They are now running around and living in the woods full time...but still stop by for breakfast! it's a great time to release squirrels as the woods are loaded with acorns. Yum! Below is a picture of a couple of them just after I opened their cage and they went out to explore. The other 3 are up the tree!
And it's not just the WTS patients that have been busy. Below are a few pictures of some of the other residents in the area. In the last few days I've also seen a young Yellow spotted salamander and an opossum (perhaps one of the ones I released several weeks ago as it was about the same size as Habby), and this morning there was a Cooper's hawk sitting on top of the bunny release cage. I can just imagine it saying "OK little bunny, let's be friends once you get out...."! He was beautiful but I scared him away! At this time of year there are many juvinille raptors about that have realised that hunting on one's own is tough and they are happy to find easy meals!