Wednesdays are my office days at Wildwoods so I have less contact with animals than on other shifts, but there is no avoiding it. Once you set foot on WW property, if you are staff you will end up caring for animals. Last night a red squirrel came in while the other staff were busy so I admitted him. He had been caught by a cat, had spinal trauma and a laceration on his neck. Continue reading A Hypothermic Red Squirrel
Photo above from Audrey (flickr)
It’s been a long day at work, but no matter. Tonight is the night I volunteer. Twice a week I care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife and tonight is one of those nights. I’m excited. I’m always excited on volunteer nights because no matter what’s going on in the rest of my life, my soul is freed just a little bit more with every animal I care for. I get home, take care of the pets, feed myself and change into my “Wildwoods Only” clothing – stuff that can take a little poop and formula stains.
I arrive and head down the hill to the back door. Peggy is there cleaning out cages and, as she always does, thanks me for volunteering. After hearing something like that a few times it can start to sound fake and forced, but somehow it always sounds sincere from her. Last week the staff suggested I come earlier than my normal 8pm shift, since at the moment we don’t have a lot of animals that require an 8pm feeding. I’d get to do more if I came earlier, so I do and they weren’t lying. There aren’t a lot of mammals to take care of but there are probably 50 birds that need cleaning and feeding. I ask the staff where I am needed and they point me to Continue reading Cuteness Meter Maxed Out
Nothing. If you find a wild animal that is obviously sick, injured or orphaned, do not feed it anything until you get in contact with a wildlife rehabber. You should be contacting your local licensed rehabber anyway to find out if the animal really does need help, and how exactly, if it needs it, to help. But this post is specifically about food.
Two animals came in that were fed things they never should have been fed. It’s likely one of them didn’t last the night. Continue reading What to Feed a Wild Animal
Volunteer season is in full swing at Wildwoods and I have posted anything much about it because life has been so busy. But let me give you a quick summary.
It’s been about a month and until this week it’s been nothing but sick, injured and orphaned squirrel babies. Continue reading Babies, babies everywhere
So many wonderful things happened today it’s hard to believe this is my life. Today I held a fawn while my friend bottle fed it. It fell asleep in my arms with the bottle in its mouth. The second little fawn had already been fed but sucked on my finger expecting more (sorry little guy). Then I got to feed chunks of raw chicken to a Barred Owl and to pet him, for which he seemed grateful.
Then, less glamorous but cool nonetheless, I climbed into a cage with robins and starlings and fed them worms while they perched on my hand (these are not pet parakeets, they are wild creatures I’ll remind you, and I did not get pecked at or shat on even once, though one did get a bit tangled in my hair). And of course, let’s not forget the squirrel feeding. It is incredible that these animals just let me pick them up, hold them and pet them without biting or clawing or trying to defend themselves in any way.
*Disclaimer: Don’t pick up wild animals and try to cuddle with them. Wildwoods is a controlled environment with experts at the ready, and your back yard is the opposite of that.
Visit Wildwoods’ website to learn more about wildlife rehabilitation.