I’ve heard about many of my neighbors finding displaced baby squirrels in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. What should I plan to do if I happen to find baby squirrels who appear to need my help?
Concerned About Critters in Cottage Grove
It is the height of baby squirrel season in Texas and with the punishing winds and rains of Hurricane Harvey, many of these babies were harmed. Luckily, the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition (TWRC) has published some helpful tips on how to care for a (seemingly) helpless baby squirrel. Here’s what they recommend:
• Attempt to renest very young squirrels (eyes still closed) that are uninjured, alert and responsive:
• Put the squirrel in a shallow box in a shady spot at the base of a tree closest to where it was found. Put the box on a chair so ants do not get on the squirrel. Check the box every 45 minutes to see if the parent has picked it up. If 4 hours have passed, bring the squirrel into a wildlife center.
• For all other squirrels, do not try to renest and get it to a wildlife center or rehabber ASAP!
• Keep the squirrel warm! Put the squirrel in a closed box (with air holes punched in it) lined with t-shirt or fleece material. Put the box half-on half-off a heating pad set on low. Alternatively, the box can be kept in a closed garage for warmth.
• Do not attempt to feed or give water to the squirrel. Inappropriate feeding techniques can cause diarrhea or aspiration which can result in severe illness or death. If you can’t get the squirrel to someone immediately, it will be fine without food for one night.
• Older Babies: If a fully mobile squirrel is docile, following people or pets, or can be caught without a trap, it is orphaned and needs to be brought to a wildlife center or rehabilitator.
How you can help:
The TWRC is in desperate need for donations, volunteers and supplies in the wake of the storm. Go to their website at https://www.twrcwildlifecenter.org/ to learn more about the good work that they do (during hurricane season and beyond) and how you can help.
Do you have a question for Tabby? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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