Wow! Been a crazy couple of weeks! A lot has happened. 12 baby squirrels are doing great and growing like weeds. 16 squirrels are out in the release pens awaiting their freedom. The chipmunk had a visit to Tufts to evaluate it's teeth after suffering severe trauma about 3 weeks ago. (Shame on me, I still haven't gotten pics of the chippy on here!) He's probably going to overwinter while I give it some time to see if the teeth are going to grow in normally so he can be released.
And........some of the gang has been released! (sniff, sniff).
It was a first for us. No release pen! Sort of a "soft" hard release. The location is awesome, an island in the middle of a swamp full of privacy. It requires a boat to get out there! So a first visit over there included bringing den boxes to put in the trees and setting up feeding buckets for them . The next trip was the big move. This past Wednesday, myself, Laurie, Lisa and a friend Bella spent the day bringing the releases over there.
The mode of transportation.....a canoe and a row boat. Laurie and Bella headed out with the first load of crates. Midway across there was an escape! Soldier and Spit managed to pull the door off their crate and there was just no fixing it. Luckily they were actually quite calm about it. Both calmly spent the rest of the trip sitting in a lap, enjoying the ride and apparently understanding jumping off the boat would not be a good idea. Whew! Once the boat landed they were the first to hit the ground running as they explored their new home.
Laurie heads back after dropping off Bella and the first load while Lisa heads out with another group.
Lisa heads in for a second load.
Laurie heads in to pick up me and the last of the babies. I had stayed behind to keep an eye on the gang while the rest were being shuttled across.
The second wave and I patiently await our turn in the boats.
Most of the gang were pretty calm.....
....hanging out trying to get my attention....
.....or just plain old chilling.
A couple were not so thrilled about the whole ordeal! LOL
But once we all made it to the island, everyone was thrilled to be out and exploring! Hopefully those pictures will be part 2. Due to the logistics of ferrying everything over there, and the fear of dropping things in the water, the camera did not take the trip with us. So I got these pics with my cell phone and Lisa got some much better ones with hers! I just have to wait to get those pics from her phone to my computer to post them.
Once all the lugging and lifting and transporting was over, we spent a fun afternoon on the island with the gang. It was a riot watching them explore. At one point Laurie, Lisa and Bella headed out to get some chow for us while I opted to stay behind and enjoy my last day with the gang. Most were running around like crazy, but Sis maybe knew things were changing? She opted to stick close and enjoy one last cuddle with mom.
Finally it was time to depart, and the worst part was rowing away as a few of the gang came to the waters edge to watch....looking like they were almost going to try to swim after us. And OK, I'll admit, that's about when I started balling my eyes out!
And so..... Soldier, Trooper, Doc, Sis, Sammy, Rocco, Brim, Spit and the 4 boat babies (along with 8 of Laurie's babies) have begun their new lives as free raccoons.
If the weather clears up, Laurie and I are hoping to head over there this afternoon to check on them so I'll update you on them soon I hope!