This was a great week for the animals! The adult groundhog that was hit by a car recovered well enough to be released into the woods surrounding the property. All the skunks are now in outdoor enclosures and eating meat, yogurt, and the occasional banana and meal worms in addition to formula. This makes it tremendously easier to take care of all the animals in the morning, as the skunks use litter boxes. Instead of having to carefully move them and clean out their cages, using quite a few large towels and blankets, they usually only need their litter pan cleaned out. The skunks are also benefitting from being in larger, more private outdoor enclosures away from all the other animals and people. They also have new enrichment items- tubes and tunnels for them to play in! Our newest baby “Esmeralda” is doing much better, with her pneumonia almost completely cleared up. She is still in the nursery in a temperature and humidity controlled incubator until there is no trace of pneumonia. After she recovers she will be moved to a larger cage and eventually, like the older skunks, moved to an outdoor enclosure.
The young adult fox that was admitted last week has made remarkable progress, with her wounds healing very well and a strong appetite for scrambled eggs, chicken baby food and pedialyte. It also became evident that she did not have mange. Our older two fox kits are ready for release; we just need to find a landowner with suitable habitat for them to be released into. In addition to their meatsicles, they got a new enrichment item in the form of a miniature trampoline.
We briefly had a very unusual animal come through our doors too- a juvenile porcupine was found by itself and was brought in. It had an interesting diet, considering that they are lactose intolerant. While she ate well and appeared healthy, she passed away from unknown causes in the night. While this is sad, there are animals that come in with genetic and congenital defects that negatively impact their chances of survival. It was an interesting and rare experience to be able to be in such close proximity to one of these elusive animals, even if we did not directly handle her (for obvious reasons).