Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hurricane Ike - Squirrel Story

I was just outside playing with Ike. He has a teddy bear he loves to show-off and wrestle with. Derick has taught him to "kick that bears ass" for a peanut, and he does! He rolls that bear all over, then comes over for his treat. I never planned to have a squirrel, it just sort of happened. 

Hurricane Ike in 2008 blew down 8 trees on our property. On the morning after as Derick and I surveyed  the damage, a circle shape happen to catch my eye, it was in a puddle of water beneath a tangle of fallen tree limbs, and just looked out of place. As I looked closer I realized it was a baby squirrel curled up in a perfect circle! I picked him up but he felt cold and lifeless in my hand and I thought he was dead. I didn't have the heart to just toss him back on the ground so I was still holding it in my hand under my rain pancho wondering what to do with him, as we wandered around looking at the damage. 

The first time I felt something, I checked him again, but nothing, and I decided it was my imagination. A few minutes later though, I felt his little tail twitching! I took him into the house and dried him off real well, but he was still so cold I finally just tucked him into my sports bra to warm him up. We had no power! The next few hours I spent going back and forth warming him up and taking him back outside in a little towel in hopes his moma would come get him. Squirrels were all over the yard gathering up their babies, it was awful to see. One moma squirrel found 2 of her babies and put them in our boat, but she didn't want 'Ike' as he later came to be known. Little Ike's moma never did come for him, she probably died, we searched for more survivors, but found none. 

Ike couldn't maintain any body heat at all, and I was concerned about the snakes I'd already seen, plus he was dehydrated. I gave him some watered down evaporated milk (not ideal) with a small syringe, since I didn't have an eye dropper. (If you ever HAVE to do this, you must be VERY careful not to aspirate the baby.) The next day I finally got a call thru to the proper agency. I'll not name names, since they were jerks.... I was told ''all our licensed rehabilitators are overwhelmed with orphaned squirrels. Since it is illegal for you to keep him, the kindest thing you can do is to return him to the food-chain!" I couldn't believe he said that.... 

Well you can call me Outlaw! I hung-up the phone and named my new baby squirrel 'Ike'. We found Esbilac puppy replacement milk, the same thing rehabbers use, at our local Brookshire Bros. He obviously did just fine. He's a pretty happy squirrel I think. He has a big outdoor cage with a passage thru the window to his indoor cage. 

He's a very sweet little squirrel , check him out!


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