04. January 2010 · Comments Off on 2009 – Wildlife Tales Summarized · Categories: Animal Stories

(this page is under construction – please bare with me)

In the 2009 we were able to successfully help 519 orphaned or injured wild animals. Although we cannot write about every animal who comes in, we intend to give you updates on the animals we did write about in our previous 2009 posts, before things got so busy that we ran out of time to update our blog. Thank you for your patience.

Thank you for your support and interest. We are 100% volunteer-run and donation-funded and without your support, we would have to stop doing this needed work. We hope you will continue to visit in the 2010 year, and perhaps consider becoming a volunteer or send us a donation so we may continue this work.

Raccoon Babies

These raccoon babies (from THIS POST) grew up happy and well under the care of Jack & Amy and Megan’s supervision. They were released and are living out their wild lives—but not before some photos were made of them.  Visit Jack’s website to see more photos and learn more of their story: http://raccoonery.com

These five little ones had a tragic start: their mother was killed by humans, an old-school “pest control” company.  These week-old orphans were left behind and Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue was called in.

We volunteer with YUWR’s Raccoon Team – Rancho Raccoon, as foster parents.  We feed and shelter them until autumn (2009) when they’re 7 months old and can survive on their own.  We release them back to the wild, near where they were found.

Soon, they had grown enough that their eyes opened and they became the curious explorers that they are. Jack &  Amy would take them on supervised outings in the woods for them to learn the sights and smells of their future wild life.

When they were old enough, they were released back into the wild. They live free now.

The Moses Family Squirrels

(from THIS POST)

Luci, Dean and their sons Milo and Felix raised Luke and Busta for us this year. In the end, once Luke and Busta were outside in their outdoor cage, 2 other foster babies were added to the mix, making a total of 4 babies in their care. Due to an unexpected birth defect, Luke did not make it to release. However, Busta and the other 2 babies, Florence and Bud, did. They were successfully released into their backyard where they roam free as they were meant to. Here are some photos:

When they first arrived these were tiny! But with proper care, they grew…

Soon they were old enough to graduate from a nursery kennel to a playcage!

Then, as the weeks passed and they continued to grow, it was time to make a pre-release cage for them in the backyard.

The cage was ready for them. They would stay in here for a month, then one day we would open the door and let them come and go. We continue to put food out for them for a while so they have help if they need it.

After release, on sunny afternoons, we were lucky to see our squirrels coming back for a rest and a visit…

…and sometimes for a treat too!

Good luck to you, our squirrel friends!

If you are interested in fostering baby squirrels, please give us a call at 510-547-9897. We will train you and supply many of the materials you need.

Tina’s Newborn Squirrels

(from THIS POST)

Theses squirrels were so young when they came into care with us, but thanks to the dedication of our volunteers – Lucy B. and Tina, they grew up and were successfully

Here is their photo story:

The Newborn Squirrels on Intake

After 2 weeks with Lucy B. they moved into Tina’s care

They grew well!

Eventually it was time to move them into their outside cage to prepare for release.

Look how BIG they’ve grown!

Now they are living Free, Wild Lives.

Thank you to Lucy B. and Tina for their hard work. And thank you to the caring family who found these little ones.

2009 Fawns (Coming Soon)

2009 Opossum Babies

Every year we get in hundreds of opossums who are injured or orphaned. This year we had a higher than normal number of mothers with babies in their pouches. The mothers had terrible injuries – the majority of them were either hit by car or attacked by a pet dog.

Opossums are north america’s only marsupial. That means that they are non-placental – that they are born as embryos and continue to develop inside their mother’s pouch.   They mate and 13 days later they are born. The embryos crawl up a hair-path that leads to their mother’s pouch. They climb in and attach to a nipple and stay there for a long time, growing and developing their eyes, fingers, and everything else.  When they are born, 22 of them can fit inside a teaspoon!

Here is a good picture of babies in a mother opossum’s pouch. This opossum was attacked by a pet dog. She recovered and was released shortly after this picture was taken:

When the babies are too big to all fit inside the pouch, they attach to mom’s back and go back into the pouch to nurse only.

In 2009, we received hundreds of opossums and many of these intakes included injured mothers with 8 or 10 babies in their pouches. I would like to highlight one story this year. That would be the tale of a mother opossum who was hit by a car. She was found by a good Samaritan who reported her apparently lifeless body to Oakland Animal Control when they saw the squirming of babies in her pouch. Animal Control found that she was still alive and brought her to the Montclair Veterinary Hospital where she was examined and it was discovered that she had a broken jaw as well as a skull fracture.  It is always a question – put them to sleep so they don’t suffer VS give them a chance to recover even if it is against the odds. In this case we decided we would manage her pain and let her recover and see how she did once her jaw was healed. We were concerned about brain damage from the skull fracture. This way, her babies would have a chance to grow up cared for by their mama.

The Mama did really well. Very soon her jaw was working again. She ate well and nursed her babies well. They grew and grew. They grew faster than she recovered and before she was ready to leave our infirmary, her babies were ready to go out on their own in one of our opossum pens.  By chance, the same day that her little ones went out into their new pen, another opossum mama was brought in with a pouch full of babies. This mother had been mauled by a pet dog and did not survive her injuries. We tried putting the dead mother’s babies in the current Mama’s recently emptied pouch – and it WORKED! She was still lactating. The babies latched on and Mama settled in as their new foster Mom.

Over the months that followed it soon became evident that the Mama did have severe brain damage and was also blind as a result of the impact of the car. As long as she was caring for little ones she seemed fine and focused, but as soon as we moved babies out and she was alone she would start walking in circles and showing real signs of brain damage. When the baby opossum season was over, The Mama had successfully fostered 27 baby opossums that were so small they would not have otherwise survived. However, with no new babies to put in her pouch, her condition soon deteriorated and her quality of life plummeted.  After discussing it with our daily volunteer staff, we all agreed that the best thing to do for the Mama was to let her rest peacefully. She had given a miraculous gift of life to all those otherwise doomed orphans.

I chose the Mama to write about here as one wild animal’s story which stood out in the 2009 year because  her tale filled us with amazement and inspiration. Her strength to live against terrible odds with the sole purpose of loving not just her young – but any young in need.

Thank you to the Mama, for all her caring work this year.

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