Baby Red Fox Squirrels Saved by Texas Wildlife Rehab Center in Houston
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Oak Tree Trimming
The Texas Wildlife Rehab Center came to the rescue. This is how it happened.
We have a large live oak tree that has been growing as if it is on steroids. Although we had it trimmed last year, we employed a tree trimming service to give it a severe “haircut” this year. It resulted in making an unexpected visit to our local wildlife rehabilitation rescue place in Houston. Some innocent baby squirrels were accidentally impacted when they and their nest were suddenly catapulted to the ground.
The three little darling creatures were so young that their eyes were not yet open. Fortunately, they seemed not to have suffered any injuries. Losing their haven amidst the tree branches and being separated from their mother had to have been the biggest shock of their young lives.
Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition
When our tree trimmers showed us the three baby squirrels on the ground, the first thing that my husband did was to look up the information online about the Texas Wildlife Rehab Center folks. They had helped us in the past. We knew that they had moved to another location and needed to check their hours of operation as well as new locale.
The TWRC facility is now located at 10811 Hammerly, Suite 200, Houston, Texas 77043. They are open seven days a week from 10 AM to 2 PM. The TWRC is staffed with a group of caring individuals who know what to do in emergencies to help injured wildlife or those in need of care such as our baby squirrels.
Unfortunately, it was past 2 PM when this accident happened. But fortunately, information is right there online coaching individuals as to what to do until (and if) the animals need to be brought in to the shelter.
Information online advised putting these babies into a box with some soft bedding keeping them away from any ants.
Using an old and soft sheet we made a little bed in a box and put the three little guys in it. They immediately curled up and snuggled close to one another.
The posted information also said to leave the box outside in case the mother squirrel would come back and relocate her young ones. We did this with some trepidation hoping that other wild critters or roaming cats would not find these little defenseless guys.
Checking on them several times late at night and early in the morning, we found them each time to have pulled the sheet over themselves and huddling together they appeared to be sleeping most of the time.
I am sure that without making any noises, the squirrel’s mother nor other creatures were drawn to finding them. Thus we decided that we needed to get them to the shelter soon after the shelter opened to get them to some much-needed help.
The staff and many volunteers at TWRC keep the doors open for those seeking to find help for wildlife of all kinds.
We were still filling out some paperwork when another gentleman brought in some baby possums. The mother opossum had been killed by a dog, and these babies would have died if he had not intervened. Before we left, another group brought in a large big-beaked bird that had a broken leg.
Some animals, if they cannot be helped, are humanely euthanized. At least they do not suffer long and needlessly. But a good number are cared for in the best way possible until they can once again be released back into the wild which, of course, is the ultimate goal of this organization and others doing the same kind of work.
Opossums and More…
The reasons that the animals in this particular room of the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition cannot be released back into the wild vary with each one.
In the case of Frodo the possum, he had toes missing, and it was determined that it would prevent him from being able to climb as is their norm and therefore he would be in danger. Frodo graces the TWRC with his presence and has been given quite a sizable cage in which to live and entertain visitors with his friendly antics.
According to some staff, he loves his yogurt which is supplied to him along with other food daily. The yogurt gives him some of the needed calcium that he needs.
Some dry pellet cat food along with some vegetables, fruit and other nutrients and limited amounts of meat is given to Frodo.
The gentleman that had brought in the baby possums asked if they would like some of his figs off of his tree when they become ripe, and the answer was a happy affirmative. Donations of all types are gratefully accepted, and the website supplies a wish list if people can help donate things to help the wildlife that is aided daily.
They had an interesting selection of snakes in display cases, and they all were given names. Meet Pearl and Dusty below.
Why captivity for some animals and not others? I specifically asked why these snakes could not be released back into the wild.
The reason given in most cases was that they had become so used to being handled by humans (when being treated for whatever the initial cause was that brought them to the shelter) that the snakes had lost their fear of humans and would be threatened for that reason.
One snake, in particular, suffered from having seizures!
All of the snakes were named and seemed to be well-cared for…although I must admit that if I never saw a snake up close and personal in the wild, that would be fine with me.
They are useful predators and generally would just as soon shy away from people rather than confront us. Viewed within the confines of their cages inside of the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation shelter, I must admit that the coloration of these snakes is beautiful.
If you would like to get a look at a live Chilean rose-haired tarantula…come and visit the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition!
While you are there, meet the people who do this type of rescue work, and by checking their wish list first, perhaps you can bring much-needed supplies along with you to donate to the cause.
Bob and Lucy are two non-releasable squirrels that are among the first to greet visitors to the shelter. They are in a large cage outfitted with all kinds of branches and other stimuli to keep them seemingly happily engaged.
Bob and Lucy are Eastern Gray Squirrels (Sciurus Carolinensis) according to the sign posted on the cage and are used for educational purposes.
The baby squirrels that we brought in to the shelter we were told were fox squirrels. Years previous to this we had brought an injured baby squirrel into their old shelter location. One signs a document as to whether one wishes to learn the outcome of the animals one surrenders to the TWRC. We usually say “yes.”
We were contacted by a lady who titled herself “The Squirrel Lady” as she fostered and took care of these orphans or injured babies until they could assume their place back in the wild. After talking to her on the telephone and learning that our injured one was recovering nicely, she invited my mother and me to come to her home and visit our little recovering waif.
That was amazing! This lady dedicated herself to the saving of squirrels of all kinds. She had incubators and cages of all dimensions in her living room, dining room, kitchen, and covered patio. Probably other rooms were filled as well with paraphernalia helpful toward rehabilitating squirrels.
One cage even had a baby flying squirrel in it!
The older ones closer to being released were put into the large cages on her patio where the wild squirrels in the yard could interact with the caged ones before release. Most, when deemed ready, were taken to a secret spot way out in the countryside and released to live out a grand squirrels life hopefully.
The baby squirrels like the injured one brought in years ago and the three babies with their eyes still not open that we took to the shelter this past weekend had to be fed on an every 3-hour schedule. That is real dedication on the part of these rehab people!
We also learned (from the “squirrel lady”) that it was her own money that she spent purchasing all of the groceries from the produce department each week to feed all of her temporary wards.
When visiting her my mother and I took several sackfuls of what she said that she ordinarily purchased. I remember that it was nuts of various types for the older squirrels as well as things like leaf lettuce, etc. I no longer remember the other particulars.
These are special people indeed doing this type of life-affirming work!
I asked at the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation shelter whether “The Squirrel Lady” still took in animals and the reply was “which one?” I had not kept her name from the past.
We were told that these wildlife rehabilitation folks that dedicate their lives to helping animals in need tend to specialize. So whether the same lady or another particular person ends up taking care of our displaced baby squirrels, it does not matter. They will be cared for by some nature loving person who dedicates their lives to helping out Mother Nature.
The call would be put out to these people to see who had room for more baby squirrels, baby possums and who knows how many other babies that would be brought in that day.
Wildlife of all sizes and shapes are taken into the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition.
If you live in other areas of the country check your local listings for wildlife rehabilitation centers to find helpful and caring folks where you live if you ever need help with injured or orphaned animal care.
Support your local Wildlife Rehabilitation centers. You never know when you may need their services!