Two days ago, we had some interesting intakes! Take a look at this super amazing baby fox squirrel (Sciurus niger).
This little dude has a genetic mutation called leucism, which is a condition characterized by reduced pigmentation in animals caused by a recessive allele. Unlike albinism, it is a reduction in all types of skin pigment, not just melanin. Albino have red eyes, lucistic have darker eyes. And yes, he is as yellowish as he looks! He may turn white as he gets older.
You can see below how he stands out from other squirrels around the same age in our incubator. Typically, animals with this kind of genetic mutation do not survive long in the wild. They kind of stand out. This guy will be destined for a life of education programs pending state approval.
While we do not name rehab animals, we are looking for name recommemdations since this guy will be destined for education. Mario wants to name it Ear Wax. Ew for short…. please help!
Well baby squirrel season started already. We currently have 6 baby fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) in our Baby Warm incubator. One has a minor injury from falling from the nest. But what I really want to talk about is what to do, and what not to do if you find an orphaned baby.
But first let’s put a myth to rest. Mom will absolutely take her babies back even if you touched them. There, that’s a thing you know now.
See if you can locate the nest it came from. Mother squirrels usually have a backup nest already built so reuniting is very possible. The smaller the babies are, the easier it is for mom to take them back to her nest.
If reuniting is not an option due to injury or other reason, put the baby in a box with a lid, keep it it quiet and warm, and do NOT try to give it any food, milk, water, etc… This is for a few reasons. Baby has to be at proper temperate, so does the formula, and they have to be slowly introduced to formula so they do not get diarrhea (see picture). Diarrhea causes dehydration if not dealt with first. It’s also pretty messy!
Contact a permitted rehabber. ANY small mammal rehabber. If they can not take it, most will help you find a rehabber close to you.
Be patient. Lots of calls coming in about babies right now. Leave messages if you get voicemails! Do not hang up and call right back. We could be either working with animals, on another call, or at our day job and not in a position to answer a phone.
Spring is almost upon us and that means Easter. Baby ducks, chicks, and rabbits galore. Rescues will start getting calls about 3-4 weeks after that from people looking to surrender their animals. These are the only ducks, chicks, or rabbits you should buy for your kids as gifts for Easter.
Just wanted to post an update in the young grey fox we took in back in October that was hit by a car and needed the back leg pinned. Great news, the leg looks great and the pin was removed last night. While she was under we did a thorough exam and I cleaned her ears out. Now for some exercise and chasing prey!
Well baby season is already in full swing here in Texas. Already getting in squirrels, opossums, and owls. Yesterday we got in a female red phased screech owl and her eggs. She was hit with a chainsaw and could not be saved, all her eggs busted when the tree fell. Please remember that lots of animals use trees and they should be taken down in non breeding season.
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Took in some baby fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) 2 weeks ago. Growing like weeds. Feedings every 2 hours when they first came in. Up to every 3 hours now, including during the night.
Baby season has begun!
Took in this evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis) the other day from a local home owner that found it on the ground in her yard. This species is a true hibernating species, meaning it will have to stay in captivity until spring when it can be released. No injuries found at this time. Suspect it fell victim to the recent cold snap we experienced here in Fort Worth.
Brandi has her rabies prexposure and gets her levels checked on a regular. Never touch a bat you find injured or on the ground. Their teeth are super sharp and can even go through some gloves.
Took in a brother/sister pair of Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) that somebody tried to rehab after their mother was killed. Not sure how big they were when the person got them, but it was very early spring. Now these two are morbidly obese (male weighed in at 14 pounds, female at 11) , very imprinted to people, have never been outdoors, never learned how to hunt or forage for themselves, and they were fed a very poor diet.
For size reference, Brandi is 5’4″ and holding them against her body in the pictures.
They have also been kept together the entire time so there is the possibility that the female may be pregnant as opossums reach sexual maturity at an early age due to their short lifespan.
These two will NOT be able to be rehabbed and released to the wild.
Situations such as this are why permits are needed to rehab wildlife. It ensures proper training in care and medical needs to return wildlife back to the wild.
Mario & Brandi Nickerson have dedicated their lives to the care and well being of all of Nature's creatures. Their tireless efforts go a long way to rehabbing various reptiles and many other types of wildlife.