Tuesday, September 09, 2008

My two little rescuers

When the kids and I got home from school today, my 10-year-old daughter spotted two baby squirrels, one in our front yard and the other a short distance away in the yard next door. They could barely stand on their wobbly legs and thought we were the most interesting things to come along since, well, acorns, I guess. In other words, no fear in their tiny little black eyes, which looked like they hadn't been open all that long. There's a nest about three stories up in one of the trees in our neighbor's yard that appears to be the location from whence these two furry creatures came. But no mamma in sight.

While my daughter and 5-year-old son guarded the little ones from the neighborhood cats and dogs (of which there are more than a few), I jumped online and discovered a) it is illegal to try to care for wild animals unless you are licensed to do so (the laws seem oriented towards keeping folks from taking on wild animals as pets) and b) you need to turn the animals over to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible to insure their survival. After calling about a half dozen numbers and leaving multiple messages, I finally connected with one of these folks--who, come to find out, are mostly unpaid but trained and very dedicated volunteers. Turns out these folks (like the one I was talking to) have been inundated with baby squirrels since Tropical Storm Hanna rushed through here last weekend; some of them are caring for up to 20-30 baby squirrels in their homes. Ack. Anyway, after a few more phone calls, I found someone who had some room and the kids I drove the two babies to Alexandria (about 30 minutes away) and their new temporary home with who-I-think-is a wildlife angel. God bless her. Anyway, as she plucked the baby squirrels out of the box and rubbed their tummies, she assured my kids she'd take care of them until they could be released back into the wilds that are Northern Virginia. Last we saw, they were tucked into a towel and carried away by hands of love and mercy.

You saved two lives today, I told the kids on the way home. They looked happy, my two little rescuers.

(Image: the baby squirrels my kids rescued)

6 comments:

Don Hendricks said...

Great story, the same thing happened to us this summer, but with a young owl. This happens a week or two after the hatching when the babies get to adventurous, I think there had been 46 rescues in the state that week.

Don in AZ

DogBlogger said...

Oh, how sweet. So glad for people like you who encourage this kind of care for creation by the next generation.

Never Settle said...

This is beautiful and important.

Carmen Andres said...

the kids are still talking about this - thanks all.

SolShine7 said...

Aww, baby squirrels. Thanks for saving them!

Carmen Andres said...

heh, you're welcome.