Monday, June 15, 2015

Wild baby rescue week 2 (June 9th)

To begin with, this week was CRAZY busy. On Tuesday we got in a few injured fawns and some neonatal opossums, as well as had some orphaned skunks and groundhogs that people were attempting to trap. On top of all these newcomers, the woman at an animal shelter that normally takes care of the wildlife ended up having to be admitted to a hospital. 8 raccoons needed to go to a rehabilitator, or else they'd be euthanized. So, we ended up taking them on.

One of the admitted fawns, named Loki, had some unusual coloration- his eyes were blue, despite the rest of his body being normally colored. He came in infested (inside and out) in maggots, severely dehydrated. Despite taking days to comb out the maggots and giving him subcutaneous fluids, he passed away. The neonatal opossums also passed shortly after arriving. While these deaths are sad, one must keep in mind that all you can do is try. Not every animal will make it.

In lighter news, I mentioned in my previous post that we put live fish in the fox kits’ pond to see if they would eat them. They actually did! It was surprising to everyone that they actually consumed them. At least one fish was already dead when they ate it, but the other one may have been alive and they might have even fished it out of the water!

This week I continued to practice charting on a baby skunk named “flash”. Charting is writing down how much an animal eats, as well as noting any physiological, anatomical, or behavioral changes. For example, during this week teeth began to emerge, and he started to refuse to go in his “nest”. He also started making sounds in anticipation of eating whenever I entered the room.

On Tuesday, nine more rabbits were released. We prepared the outdoor enclosure for one of the groundhogs named “Boomer”, which he will be released into this Tuesday.  Four of the larger baby squirrels were also released into one of the outdoor enclosures, and there are plans to release a chipmunk this week.

On Sunday, a bat rehabilitator came in to give a talk on bats- what to do when they’re admitted, how and what to feed, how to clean parasites, how to treat injuries, signs of rabies, and how to prepare for release were some of the topics she covered.  I found the talk very informative, and now that we have several baby bats, this will definitely come in handy. Additionally, when she left, she took our older bat “Spike” back to her facility, to teach him how to fly and prepare him for release at the end of the summer

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