Wildlife sanctuary sees rise in rescued squirrels
Animals better off in wild near nest, workers say
Posted: Aug 10, 2012 7:32 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 10, 2012 11:45 AM ET
Ottawa-area residents are bringing newborn squirrels that have fallen from their nests to a local wildlife sanctuary, but workers there say it might be better for the young animals to remain closer to where they were found.
Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary workers said they have seen a jump in rescued newborn squirrels this summer and are currently caring for 23 newborns.
Many residents are dropping the squirrels off at the North Gower, Ont.-based sanctuary after finding the young animals have fallen from their nests. Many squirrels are currently having their second litter of the season.
Sanctuary worker Michelle Lock said they do their best to care for the newborns, and raise them with other squirrels.
But the better alternative, she said, is to leave the squirrels near their nests.
"The best thing to do to reunite it with its mom is to fill up a water bottle with warm water and place it in a cardboard box and then place [the squirrel] in a cardboard box and then secure it in a tree," said Lock.
The bottle of water will help keep the baby squirrel warm, while putting the box high will prevent many predators from getting to the squirrel. The squirrel should be brought in at night to protect it from racoons and keep it from getting too cold, she said.
"You can check on it a few times a day to see if the mother comes."
Lock said if the mother doesn't arrive in a few days, the squirrel should then be brought to the sanctuary.
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