Friday, August 22, 2008

Another wildlife rescue

Yesterday midday, I stepped outside in the front yard for a break and heard a terrified scream from somewhere high in one of our live oaks. I squinted up at the branches but couldn't see anything. I didn't hear anything more, either. Must have been a baby bird that got eaten by a snake, I thought sadly. I went back inside and didn't think anything more about the incident.

After supper, as usual, James and I went outside to check on the yard. I told him what I'd heard and what I'd concluded earlier in the day. All the sudden, there went the very same screech! But in a different tree. We looked and looked but couldn't see anything. Then I noticed Gabe, one of the boy cats, staring into a live oak on our adjacent lot. I looked up, and there was a tiny baby eastern fox squirrel, clinging to a thin branch at the end of a limb. We watched it for the longest time, and it screeched some more. It even almost fell a few times. Why didn't the mother squirrel come?

Then another screech sounded, this time from the front live oak again. Lo and behold, another baby was clambering around branches! And another one, too! We had thought about going inside the house and let nature take its course, but instead we opted to sit on the porch and watch. Thank goodness we did because a movement in the grass caught my eye. A baby squirrel had fallen to the ground! I ran inside the house for a towel. Then I gently captured it, and we put it in a plastic box. While I was calling Wildlife Rescue, James found another baby on the ground. Two! A third remained high in the tree.

After we got home and looked at photos, we noticed this little baby
had a nose injury from falling. So I called Wildlife Rescue and told them.

This time, Lindsey and I loaded up and headed for the animal rehab center located near Kendalia. They do wonderful work here. The volunteers gladly took our babies. "Little girls!" Katie pronounced after lifting them both out of the container. "Oh, you're going to be a friendly one," she added, after one climbed onto her shirt and into her hair. She told us that they were also not yet weaned so it was good that we brought them to the center.

James told me later that he had seen a dead squirrel in the street earlier this week. So that's probably what happened–the mother died and left orphans behind.

A sign at Wildlife Rescue asks visitors to watch out even for my favorite creatures–spiders.

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to crack a window and listen for screeches. I'm praying the other one (or maybe two) will come within reach, and we can rescue them, too.

Wildlife Rescue 24-hour hotline 830-336-2725

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