Thursday, May 30, 2013

Updates on my wildlife charges

First of, yes, the little wood chuck girl survived and is doing extremely well!

She was teetering right on the edge when she arrived, she was ice cold, starving, I could feel the hip and shoulder bones jutting through the skin underneath the thick fur, she would not have survived another day without immediate intervention.  The vet had given her lots of rehydration fluids under the skin and she was shivering from the spilled fluids despite rather warm and humid weather.  I had to turn a heating pad on the medium setting to get enough warmth into her hypothermic body in hopes that she would come around.  Eight hours later she was finally warm enough where I could risk a small feeding to get her stomach working again.  At first she could only drink a few cc's, her stomach was too shriveled already, and it took time to get it to expand again.  But each time we managed an additional cc, and the next afternoon she was able to thermo-regulate her core temperature enough where I could risk reuniting her with her sister.  It went well, she got beat up only a little bit before her sister recognized her, and the two immediately curled up into a tight ball together and went to sleep.  They have been together ever since.  Her sister is of course heavier because she had been brought to me right away and put on weight at a staggering speed.  In three days she went from 247 to 358 grams.  The half-dead little sister weighed only 227 grams upon arrival. 
This first picture might not be the best, but it proves that there are two wood chucks.  As for the paper mess, the newspaper was UNDERNEATH the wood shavings to keep them from falling through the grid, but wood chucks dig and do they ever!  They immediately rip all the paper up and then use it to hide behind it. 

 Here is the bigger girl, unsure of the camera.  This is their sleep corner, usually it's dark over there. 

Here is the smaller girl, busily munching away on sweet potato, a favorite food.  She is doing incredibly well considering how close to death she was.  She is the nicer one of the two, the larger girl likes to bite. 

The two slightly older cottontail bunnies.  The one in the corner is washing its face.  The smaller one still shows remnants of formula he let run down his chin and which was next to impossible to completely wash out without drowning him. 

And here is something you don't see every day either:  a baby black squirrel.  It's a little girl, and here she is munching away on her piece of banana.  She is not jet black, her underside is a chocolate brown and she has some yellowish brown on the sides.  But the overall appearance is black.  There are small pockets of black squirrel populations in Massachusetts, and with any luck she will start a population here if her mutation gene is strong enough to come through. 
I hope you enjoyed this peek into my rehab room!  Wish I had a genie that can snap her fingers and Whooosh!!! all the cages are clean!... 

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