Our 3,000th patient came to Greenwood on a hazy October morning here in Colorado. She was a young Fox Squirrel that had become orphaned at some point a few days prior. She was hungry and scrawny, barely weighing 3 ounces. When our rehabilitator retrieved her from the bucket her rescuers and brought her in, he noticed fleas jumping off of the little runt’s fur. He carefully scooped her up and coated her in flea powder, then placed her in a neat crochet nest. Before she could be fed, he had to warm her body temperature and make sure she was properly hydrated. Feeding a squirrel that is cold and dehydrated can be fatal. You could see the content sleepiness wash over her as she finished her lunch. This poor baby had quite an adventure the past few days and now she was able to fall into a peaceful slumber with a full tummy and cozy nest. Our rehabilitators were glad to give her some relief, but wondered if this gal would gain enough weight and skills to be released before winter.
Because she was so small, she had to be taken home with a rehabilitator so she could be fed through the night. Caretakers paired her with another small squirrel and awoke every few hours to feed the babies. By morning, patient 3,000 was much more energetic and plump. We now have higher hopes that she will be able to persevere and we will be able to release her back into the wild once again before chill of winter.