Getting ready for the spring rush
Getting ready for the spring rush.
With spring’s arrival, a few baby squirrels usually begin to arrive at Aspen, needing around the clock feeding by staff and a crucial group of volunteers.
Janalene Kingshott photo
March 16, 2012
With rain and warm weather quickly melting the snow, staff members at Aspen are contending with muddy trails that are now replacing icy surfaces.
Staff members are also looking towards spring, the busiest, but most interesting time of the year at the sanctuary.
Besides warmer weather, there are other signs of spring’s approach.
Danielle, from Holland, the first of our volunteers has arrived.
Over the next two months others from across Canada and Europe will begin to make their scheduled stops.
They will be important, as within a few weeks, maybe even days, calls will come in from concerned residents who’ve stumbled upon some orphaned animals.
We remind residents to ensure that the babies are truly orphaned. Sometimes it is better to wait and see if the mother will return before interfering.
But of those that are orphaned, baby squirrels will usually be the first to start to arrive.
Whether they’re found on construction sites, in felled trees or after their mothers are caught by house cats, they’ll need constant attention and feeding – and volunteers are a crucial part of that time-consuming process.
Tiny raccoons will come shortly thereafter – more tiny mouths to feed with bottles or syringes, and small bodies to warm with heated pads, and clean with dampened rags.
Around the same time, our sleeping bear cubs will emerge from their dens, and need feeding until their early summer release. Right now, staff members are busy readying spring enclosures and our nursery.
We’re collecting sheets, rubber gloves, towels, Esbilac and other important items we can never gather enough of ahead of spring activity.
Who knows what other animals will arrive at Aspen as cottagers and summer visitors return north and sleeping animals emerge.
Life at the sanctuary is always unpredictable, but the fact staff and volunteers can expect early mornings, late nights and non-stop work is a certainty.
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(These weekly articles are contributed by staff at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary rehabilitates orphaned and injured wildlife with a mandate to educate the public towards a better understanding of local fauna.)
This article is for personal use only courtesy of cottagecountrynow.ca - a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd.