Friday, April 21, 2006

My first Wildlife Rehab "job"

Last winter I applied for a Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitator permit (North Carolina). Many people around here know that I raise finches, so I sometimes get calls from people needing help with orphaned birds and I thought it would be good to be able to help...legally. On the permit application, I was able to choose any or all of the following: Song birds, Raptors and/or Small Mammals. I put a check mark next to Song birds, then as an afterthought also checked Small mammals. Hey, I could probably raise a baby bunny or squirrel if one came my way.
Well, I received my permit a couple of weeks ago, and on Saturday received a call from a man who lives on the south side of Lake Gaston. He had found an orphaned baby squirrel (actually two of them, but one had died) and wondered if I could finish raising it. He had found my name on the NC Wildlife Dept website for wildlife rehabilitators. It had never occurred to me that my name might actually be on a list somewhere.

So, now I'm raising this adorable squirrel. Fortunately, (for both him and me), his first few weeks were spent with his biological mommy. When I received him, his eyes were open and he was "fully furred". The man who had found him had been feeding him for a week (he had been on vacation, but needed to go back to work on Monday), so he brought the baby to me on Sunday.

Above: here's a photo taken the first time that I fed him. The man who had been feeding him had been using a spoon, so I thought I'd do the same. Big mistake - the little guy grabbed the spoon, gulped his formula down so fast it was a miracle that he didn't choke and by the time he was done we both needed a bath.
Below: For his next feeding I switched to a syringe, which worked much better for both of us.


LauraHinNJ said...

Good luck to you both - he's very cute!

Susan said...

thanks Laura - I'm having lots of fun with him.