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.
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.