We have a new guest here at Nature’s Edge. Assisted a local game warden with a highly imprinted and malnourished female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Deer was found as a fawn and given to somebody else as a “gift.” While an imprinted fawn seems like a cute pet, they can be very dangerous as adults. Their hooves are razor sharp and a male with antlers can do some serious damage, especially during breeding season.Please understand momma leaves her babies alone during the day to protect them from predators. Mom has an odor babies do not. Mom is close by watching. We make posts every year on how to tell if a fawn is truly in need of help. Please contact a rehabber if you find a fawn to discuss the situation.This girl will stay with us for now to see if we can wild her up enough for a safe release as well as get her to a proper body condition. Special thanks to Amethyst and Justin for their assistance with pick up and transport, and the use of their horse trailer. It took all 4 of us to safely move this gal.
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!
**warning: graphic photos at the bottom of this post!
Bird rehabbers have been battling for years the idea of putting things like hair, string, yarn, etc…out as nesting material for birds. Another perfect example of why that is a horrible idea. Two mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) chicks brought to us last night. One dead, one alive (cat found them, but that is a whole different conversation). Tied together at the knee by some kind of string. Lower leg completely dead. Had to be euthanized for a few different reasons. By permit, any bird that has to have a leg amputated has to be euthanized. We have no say in that matter. One legged birds develop all kinds of problems. Yes, we have seen one legged birds in the wild too.
Anywho… If you must put something out as nesting material for birds, use grasses, hay, etc… makes a much better and safer solution. Plus it’s natural, and in most cases free!
Fun fact: the mockingbird is the state bird of Texas (1927), Florida (1927), Arkansas(1929), Tennessee (1934), Mississippi (1944), and is the former state bird of South Carolina (1939-1948).
Nature’s Edge Wildlife and Reptile Rescue is in desperate need of a new vehicle. To say we put a vehicle through it’s paces is an understatement. The Suburban we have now is a 2005 and has over 230,000 miles on it. The repairs are beyond starting to exceed the value, and will cost too much to make it pass Texas vehicle inspection this month. We use 4 wheel drive on a regular basis, haul stuff (including a trailer), travel to education and adoption events, picking up supplies and animals, and let’s not forget the occasional use as an emergency ladder to get birds out of trees.
Last year we drove more than 13,000 miles picking up animals, supplies, traveling to education programs, reptile expos, etc. About 10,000 miles consisted of transporting animals, over 2,000 miles were driven traveling to education programs and almost 700 miles driven to reptile expos. And that doesn’t even count all the miles driven to and from our vet’s office and that is a 67 mile trip.
We made three trips down to the coast after Hurricane Harvey in August 2017 to pick up wildlife and deliver needed supplies to wildlife rehabilitators. We have driven as far away as New Mexico to pick up animals in need. We drove to Tyler one afternoon just to pick up a western ratsnake that had swallowed three ceramic eggs. We also drove to Kansas one year to meet a college professor that adopted several reptiles for use as education animals.
A reliable vehicle is necessary to help us continue caring for animals in need. Please consider helping us purchase a new used vehicle.
As always, we truly thank each and every one of you for your continued support!
Was just over a week ago we made a post about Easter animals. Well, it’s already begun. Two of these were surrendered unwanted gift pets (mallard and pekin), two others were found roaming around. Suspect released pets (pekin and crested [poof ball on head]).
Please do not buy animals as pets unless you know for certain that person actually wants one.
The rescue is in need of a new vehicle. To say we put a vehicle through it’s paces is an understatement. The Suburban we have now is a 2005 and has 230,000 miles on it. The repairs are beyond starting to exceed the value, and will cost too much to make it pass Texas vehicle inspection. We use 4 wheel drive on a regular basis, haul stuff (including a trailer), travel to education and adoption events, picking up supplies and animals, and let’s not forget the occasional use as an emergency ladder to get birds out of trees.
We are hoping one of our followers has an in with a used car dealer in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.
We need a large SUV, 4×4, in good shape and trustworthy. And let’s not forget price range. We are not looking to break the bank.
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.
- Did I mention to not offer any food or water?
As always, thank you for your support.
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.