Stormy

stormyAs I was walking my horse around the block one afternoon in early July, I glanced down at the pavement in front of me to notice a small object that most definitely didn’t belong in the middle of the road. The horse saw it too and stretched his neck to sniff. As I bent down to take a closer look at the tiny, motionless creature I was truly surprised to see a little baby squirrel lying alone and helpless on the pavement.  Then I looked up and saw the nest.

In the spring months at the Wildworks care center we take in many baby squirrels that often fall out of their nests that are carefully constructed high in the trees to keep the young safe from predators. Having saved many babies over the years it was easy for me to identify this barely-furred little orphan as a tree squirrel. I knew the best thing to do would be to put the baby back in the nest where it could be cared for by its squirrel mother. Unfortunately, the nest was too high in the tree to reach.  Also, this was an emergency situation. The baby was not doing well and was in need of immediate care. I scooped up the limp little fur ball and gently stuffed him into my shirt pocket. He seemed lifeless and was barely breathing. I really didn’t think he would survive.

To save time I jumped on my horse and we trotted back to Wildworks where I quickly administered sub-q fluids and then placed the infant on a heating pad.  As his body gradually warmed he moved a little and then a little more. It was when he began taking formula from a baby bottle that I sighed in relief. Another life had been saved.

If a car had driven down the road just seconds before my horse and I happened upon the helpless baby, there would be no story to tell so I guess we could’ve called him “Lucky” but when his fur grew in and turned a beautiful shade of gray, he was christened “Stormy” and he is a special individual in yet another way. A California gray tree squirrel, Stormy is the first of his species to arrive at Wildworks!

stormy

 

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