Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue

Rescue, Rehabilitation, Release, Adoption.

"The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest."  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Squirrels, Bunnies, Possums and Birds....oh my!

       

[Update 11/09]

Lexi has been adopted, thank you.

[10/09]

This is Lexi. She was found, along with her brother, in a cold, wet ditch on the side of the highway outside of Holliday. They were very young and thin when dumped. While I don't normally deal with domestic animals, I couldn't leave two kittens to starve, become prey for a wild animal, or be hit by a car. They have been well fed and cared for in the last couple of months. Her brother, Scout, has a home. Lexi has had her shots and has been micro chipped, and now she needs a caring home. Drop me an email if you are interested in adopting Lexi.

I stopped on the highway one mid-morning to check on a turtle on the side of the road. The turtle was dead, but by chance I then saw an Opossum which had been struck and killed. I saw movement, and it turned out she still had 7 babies clinging to her which survived the impact that killed their mother. It was already quite hot out, and they had been directly in the sun. I rushed them to another rehabilitator, but unfortunately, I got word that they did not survive. Very sad. At least they died being cared for, and not left on the side of the road like trash to die helplessly. 

If you strike an animal with your car, please be decent and humane enough to stop and check on it to ensure it, or its babies, will not die a slow torturous death.    

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[6/09]

I found this adult Cliff Swallow sitting in the middle of the road at the US 82 overpass in Holliday. Numerous Cliff Swallows make their homes under the bridge there. This one was underweight and too weak to fly away. He would have been killed for sure, but I am always always looking on the road for injured animals, especially outside of town. He is now with the Wild Bird Rescue and hopefully in a few weeks will be well enough to return.    

[5/24/08]

Our first baby squirrel of the summer. She was found crying at the base of a tree in a homeowner's front yard. After sometime of observing and not seeing the mother return, the caring couple picked her up and brought her in to see what to do for her. They located us and promptly turned her over to our care. We have set up a box in the suspected nesting tree and returned her there several times in the last week, attempting to give her mother an opportunity to come retrieve her. Our fear is that something terrible may have happened to her mother and she is now an orphan. We are working to raise her for eventual release in the same tree as soon as she can crack nuts and eat solid foods on her own.

[Update 12/2010]

We never did find momma, but this little girl (subsequently named "Sadie" by the finders) continued to do well. She was scheduled for release back at their residence, but various serious complications arose here that year that prevented us from getting the release done in time for winter. Given her nature toward people, I felt a "soft-release" was needed, and this required some supervision and vigilance from the finders in looking after her while she readjusted to wild life. She ended up being stuck with me over that winter. She developed a dense cataract early the next year in her left eye, and after getting a full evaluation at the ophthalmologist it was decided that Sadie might not do too well in the wild with only vision in one eye. She is still here with the rest of us, having Christmas again for her 3rd time now. It is customary for the squirrels at Christmas time to get their own stockings, which are filled with holiday nuts, fruits, and cinnamon sticks. They love the cinnamon sticks, and shredding the stockings for bedding afterward. ;-)


[5/22/08]

On my way down SW Parkway, a small bird flew out into traffic across from South Weeks Park, and hit my bumper. It fluttered onto the inside most lane, and lay there flapping. I quickly made a u-turn 100 yards up, came back down the west bound side, and pulled onto the concrete divider with hazard lights on. Two cars has already passed, but thankfully they passed right over the bird. When I had my chance, I darted out and grabbed the bird. I put it in the passenger seat and began speeding back home to tend to it. By the time I got home, it was beginning to recover and trying to fly. At home I set it up in a cage to observe for about and hour, then let it out into the living room to make sure it could fly well. Just in case it was a mother bird who had babies depending on her, we wanted to get the bird back to the park before sundown. Later that afternoon, our son and I took the bird back to the park, where he released it. After a pause, the bird flew strong and swiftly out of the pouch to land on a distant tree.

[5/21/08]

This fits in the "Other" rescue category: We rescued a kindergartener today. He was left by his parents on a corner to catch a school bus, and then they took off to work. Problem is, the kid missed the bus, and nobody was home to let him back in the house. He was found leaning against the stop sign, crying. He couldn't have been more than 6 years old. In addition to leaving their little boy on a street corner by himself, his parents didn't prepare him well for emergencies. He didn't know where his parents worked, nor did he have a phone number to call them. He managed to tell us his school and teacher, and we promptly called his school. They diverted a bus over right away to get him....Make sure your kids know what to do in an emergency...And for God's sake, don't leave them by themselves on a corner when they are only 6 years old!      

  

[2007]

These baby cotton-tail bunnies we rescued just a few nights ago from a cat in the neighbor's yard. They are sisters. The bunny on the bottom was heard sqealing and when I ran out of the house to see what was the matter, I saw a cat on top of something. I just got to her in time, before the cat could gather her up and run away. The poor baby had been skinned on her left hind-quarter all the way to the muscle. Fortunately, the muscle tissue suffered no visible damage, but we have to get this skin closed up to prevent infection. Unfortunately however, we don't have the $130 in our budget right now that our vet wants to stitch this up. We are doing what we can in the meantime until we see if our mammal rescue partners in OK. can help her.  

The bunny in the top picture, we found about a half hour later when the cat returned and we again heard a baby rabbit calling for help. The cat was chased away and we searched the nearby clover patch for a rabbit nest. We found the second bunny hiding in the clover. She was unharmed. These are the only two we found after a search of the surrounding area.

[Update 4/08/08]

Sadly, the baby that had been injured died early this morning after being checked repeatedly in the previous hours. She was alert, responsive, and moving about just fine beforehand, though she had lost some weight since being rescued and was not eating much. Sometime after being checked about 4am, it appears that she developed diarrhea and died due to dehydration. This can happen very quickly with baby bunnies. It is possible the antibiotic ointment and oils meant to protect her wound from infection until we could get her stitched up, may have contributed to this condition, as she may have ingested it by self-cleaning. Though she was not observed doing this. The veterinarian who was supposed to be working with us, wanted $300 to stitch her up. We could not afford that. We had hoped to find a veterinarian willing to give us some break on the volume of injured animals that we get, and we thought that's what we would get. This is a prime example as to why I have had to learn to do these things myself if I want to help them. I just can't afford to pay for a vet for every animal I run across that needs one, so, I do what I can myself these days.

[Update 5/8/08]

The female bunny in the top photo is doing quite well and has tripled her weight since arrival. She is ready to release, and this will probably be done in the next week as we evaluate nearby habitats that offer low traffic, fewer possible predators, and abundant resources. She has been named Abbie (the Wabbie).

[Update 4/09]

Abbie has been released this Spring by a former volunteer.  

[10/17/07]

Brannigan ( Below ): A male Fox Squirrel of about 4 weeks. He was found in a driveway and was delivered to us with a bit of a bump on his head. We are giving him small doses of anti-inflammatory for the pain and to get the swelling down. He is doing much better the last couple of days and when we are confident he will have no lasting disability due to his head injury, we will try to reunite him with his momma.  

[10/23/07]

Sadly, Brannigan never fully recovered from his head injuries enough to self feed and move about normally like the others we rescued his age. We had hoped based on the first few days progress that he would continue to get better, but he did not. Even with tube feeding and medication, he quickly faded. Brannigan went into respiratory failure and died on the 23rd of Oct.   

[10/3/07]

Below: A baby female squirrel of about 4 weeks old. She was discovered by a young boy about to mow a lawn, and was very lucky to be seen first. She was bleeding from the nose initially and displayed some other signs of injury, apparently from the fall from her nest. During the last couple of days of treatment and being warmed, her mobility and appetite has returned and she shows signs that her injuries were temporary.  

[Update 10/19/07]

This one has now opened her eyes and ears, and is learning to walk and jump about onto our shoes and such. Sometimes she tries to run a short distance before falling over. She is in very good shape for potential release so far.

[Update 3/07/08]

Above & Below: She was named "Acorn" by the young boy who found her. She is growing and developing her skills, but is hampered by miscoordination with holding her food due to the injuries she received when falling out of her nest. Squirrels rely very much on their little front paws to hold their food. She has much trouble in this area, and we don't know if she can manage yet on her own in the wild with this injury. Her cage mate is easily able to take her food away, and she frequently drops it. She will need to improve in this area before she can be released.    

[9/21/07]

Below: A baby female squirrel of 1-2 weeks. She fell out of her nest while the property owner was pulling down dead tree branches. She had several little cuts that were cleaned with Betadine, but she is lucky to have survived her fall of about 30 ft. with only scrapes. We are feeding her formula around the clock every 2 hours or so, and she is sleeping here with us for now. We are taking her back to her tree during mornings and evenings and placing her in a box in the crook of the tree, hoping that her momma will hear her and come down to get her. Hopefully, she will be back home with her mother soon.

 

[Update 10/19/07]

This girl has shown some advanced development for her apparent age, but there has been some concern because she has opened her eyes and ears before her fur had really some in. We can't tell yet whether she will be blinded or have other complications as a result. Her fur is also coming in a silvery grey color, and we are not sure yet whether she is a Fox Squirrel, a Grey Squirrel, or whether her oddities to date are due to a genetic disorder.

[Update 3/07/08]

We have named her Chiquita, but she is no longer the runt she once was! Chiquita is a very healthy and spry young squirrel who has no apparent disability from her 30ft. fall when she was just a week old. She has fully recovered, put on weight, and is always hungry!

 

[2/07]
Below: This baby female Fox Squirrel of about 5 weeks old was brought into the local vet the very same time we were there to get medical supplies for our reptiles. She had fallen from her nest 30ft. above a warehouse floor, but appeared to have no injuries. The person that brought her in stated that they had no way of getting her back to the top of the warehouse. The vet office stated that they could not take in a wild squirrel. We attempted for a number of weeks to contact the local squirrel rehabber without success, and therefore began raising squirrels by default. "Sandy" has since grown to be a healthy and spunky juvenile squirrel. She is now approximately 6 months old.

[Update 3/08] 

We are picking a date to give Sandy a birthday soon. We can only guess, based on her age when she was rescued. She is the eldest of our rescued squirrels, and though many may come and go; Sandy will stay as mascot and to educate the public. She often travels to the store, and except for liability sake, she doesn't even need a leash. She is comfortable in either an open window sill basking in the sun, or on our shoulders. She could leave on her own...but she won't! 

  

Sandy is quite the lazy squirrel and likes to lounge...when she isn't sleeping. 

...or finding things to chew on

...did we mention she likes to sleep?

 

She gets our retired socks to use as sleeping bags.

 

Nope, absolutely no trouble sleeping anywhere! Even if it's her food dish. She's paranoid about the other squirrels coming in to steal her goodies.

 

Inside this turtle log-hide is another favorite spot of hers.

 

She used to have a nice nylon hammock, but she saw fit to chew through the clips that hung it from the ceiling, and we aren't going to be shelling out for another one soon. She's just S.O.L. and will have to make do with what she has...

Poor mistreated squirrel, huh?

 

 

Recently, we took Sandy out to the park to forage around for acorns and pecans. She often goes with us in the car, and sometimes walks around on the porch, but she's never been with us to the park. We put her in a harness, more so to keep her from getting high up a tree and away from us if she is spooked by a car or bird, rather than concern she will run away on her own.

Sandy surveys her surroundings with trepidation.

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She stands high to get a good look at the birds and other things around.

She's found her way to the base of a tree to find a few goodies to eat.

Before long, she's acting like a wild squirrel and wanting to take her booty up the tree and away from us pilferers!

This is Squeakie the Mouse. She started out as bait for the Brazilian Rainbow Boa, which escaped from her tank. We do not use live prey unless absolutely necessary, but in the case of an escaped snake, live prey is the best lure. We do make sure the live prey is protected and cannot be gotten to by the snake. Squeakie was placed in a cage, which sat inside an aquarium on the floor. She was content to just run round and round on her little squeaky wheel all night. About 1am, Bali the Boa surprizingly returned to her own tank, instead of seeking out the mouse. Squeakie survived the night and was given a pardon. Squeakie is a 3rd shift mouse and prefers to burn the midnight oil, going to work turning her squeaky wheel every night after the 10 o'clock news.

[9/30/07]

  Squeakie died on this day due to unknown causes. We found her under her wheel where she loved to spend so much of her time. A physical examination revealed it was most likely due to natural causes. Mice have very high metabolism and typically don't live for more than 2-3 years at most. Still, her cage remains empty to this day, and we miss hearing her squeaky wheel at night.