As the summer progresses, the animals are all growing up! Very few babies are getting bottles at this point, although many are still getting dishes of formula. We currently only have a few squirrels left, with only one being in the nursery. Two of the skunks are nearly old enough to release, while the rest are all outdoors and growing rapidly. We still have one baby skunk in the nursery due to pneumonia, which is just about cleared up. One group of fox kits is ready to release, and we are just looking for a location to release them into. The fawns are also growing up quickly- they are down to two bottles a day, which have been watered down. They are also starting to shed their spots. The only animals eating more than twice a day are the opossums, baby skunk and baby groundhog.
This week we were flooded with baby opossums, getting in a group of ten as well as several others. Thankfully, they are all eating from dishes and do not need to be tube fed. One group of five was moved to an outdoor enclosure last week, while the rest are in the nursery. We also started getting in “pinky” squirrels, as well as a pinky mouse. More squirrels are expected to begin coming in a few weeks.
The raccoons were also moved outside last week, and are no longer fed formula. They now get a mix of puppy food and a variety of fruits. As a treat, we froze cherries and grapes inside a watermelon rind! The foxes did extremely well with this week’s enrichment, which was a piece of fish hung from a bungee cord. It took them a little while to figure it out, but eventually the male (Franky) realized he had to jump up to reach the fish. Enrichment like this is extremely important to predatory animals, as it helps them develop problem solving skills as well as teach them how to hunt.