Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Squirrel Babes!

I couldn't resist this little story, having listened to it on the BBC Today Programme on Radio Four this morning. 

Four baby red squirrels have a closer bond than most after surviving being just hours from death. They were blown out of their tree-top nest by high winds as Britain was struck by the tail-end of Hurricane Katia last week.

The squirrels, who are just five weeks old, were found by a passer-by in the aftermath of the gale-force winds. The rescued animals were  taken to a vets' surgery in nearby Alnwick, Northumberland before being sent to the Sanctuary Wildlife Care Centre at Ulgham near Morpeth.

Sanctuary owner Kim Olson said that if the animals had not been found they would have died within hours, attacked by either magpies of cats. She added that the animals, which weighed just 70grams, had gone into shock and were very sleepy and still.

The woman who found the baby squirrels was not able to find their mother and sanctuary workers fear that she may still be looking for her offspring. Before they can be released the five-week-old animals need round the clock care and are being looked after by volunteer Eileen Welsh at her home.

She uses a tiny bottle to feed them goat's milk every three hours and will continue to care for them over winter. Kim said: 
'At this time of year the squirrels would be collecting food for winter but even if we released them in November they wouldn't have enough time.
'We're planning to release them gradually back into the wild next spring at our special unit, which is at a secret location in Northumberland.
'They're doing absolutely brilliantly now, they're extremely lively and mischievous.'  

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

This story was also presented on the BBC Breakfast programme, this morning, with Uncle Bill and Auntie Sian.

An 'awe' greeted the viewer as the VT report ended and the cameras returned to the studio whereupon Sian said:

"And shortly they will be returned to the wild where the Grey Squirrels will get them!"