HOUSTON -- The Wildlife Center of Texas is reporting an increase of 600 percent increase in the number of baby squirrels abandoned and in need of care.
Since January 1, The Wildlife Center of Texas has received 259 orphaned baby squirrels, compared to only 40 last year.
Sharon Schmalz, Executive Director of The Wildlife Center of Texas, said she believes the effects of the devastating Texas drought continue to impact wildlife.
Baby squirrels are often found in nests of weak or dead trees that are cut down by homeowners. Strong winds and rain can also blow these babies to the ground, separating them from their mothers.
The Wildlife Center of Texas has the following helpful tips on what to do if you find a baby squirrel:
- The most important thing to do if you find a baby wild animal is to make sure it truly is an orphan.
- Unless the baby is wet, cold, injured, covered with ants, fly eggs, or maggots or in danger from a predator, simply observe it at a distance for a time for one to two hours.
- If the mother does not come back, pick up the baby animal with a washcloth and put it in a box lined with soft rags.
- Do not feed or water the baby!
- Bring the orphan to The Wildlife Center of Texas, 7007 Katy Road, Houston, TX 77024. The Wildlife Center of Texas is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for admission of patients. The phone number is 713-861-9453.
The sooner the orphaned baby can get to The Wildlife Center of Texas, the greater the chance for survival and release back into the wild. Rehabilitation includes hourly feedings and a warm, stable environment using an Avetech Brooder Hood. The Wildlife Center of Texas is appealing for donations to help provide nutritious food and formula, medicine, and veterinary care for these wild orphans. Warming hoods and other much-needed supplies can be found on their Amazon.com wish list. Click here for more information.