How could I forget to update you on the squirrels! *Sigh*....my aging mind is not as sharp as it used to be! My gang of 12.....including little Acorn and a slew of JoAnn's babies, are romping the woods and loving it! It's going to be a bad year food-wise for rodents, and these guys were a little later getting released than I would like due to so many babies and waiting their turn in a release pen. But fear not! The release pens are remaining open for them to utilize as needed through the winter and unlike the releases before them that eventually ventured off to make their own nests in the woods, these guys do not seem to be in a big hurry to do so! Many are still returning at night to sleep. And as you can see below, they have also figured out where they can find a good meal every day too!
Some of the gang will still grab a nut or two from my hands also. Walnut especially still loves his Momma!
The funny thing is when I'm out by the release pen they won't come up to me to get their nuts....they go run into the release pen and wait for me inside by the door. Why you may ask? Well, when they were being formula fed, I would feed each one then put them into a different cage to wait until everyone was done. With such a large group it was the only way to know who was fed already and who wasn't. Plus as they get older they are a little more jumpy and harder to catch. So when they were all fed in the other cage I needed to make it easier to get them back into the main pen without them all getting loose in the room and impossible to catch! I would then get one nut, and one at a time hand them a nut which they would take then scoot back into the main pen. Now they are sort of trained! They think to get their nut they have to go to the door! So instead of just coming up to me outside....they run inside to the door! LOL! Don't let anyone ever tell you they are not smart and can not be trained!
Pretty soon my gang will start filling out and look like the wild gang out there....big, fat, porkers! Look how round he is! The picture does not do the portliness of this guy justice. Putting it bluntly....I have some fat ass squirrels out there! As you can see the acorn shortage will not be a problem for the squirrels of my acquaintance.
A check this morning of the island release site revealed no coonies....and no food! They're coming back for regular visits to eat but they have apparently found new homes elsewhere. Our babies are all growed' up!
The rest of the overwinters are fine. The new boy the ARL had rescued that was stuck in the notch of a tree is doing well. It is still unsure how well he will recover or if he'll get the use of his leg back. The swelling and nerve damage have caused some sores and sloughing of skin on the top of his foot and on the inside of his knee. He's on antibiotics and although the wounds look pretty bad, they are actually doing well. The tissue is pink and healthy and bleeds occasionally which means it is not necrotic ( or dead), meaning it the tissue is alive and healthy and there is good circulation to it. It is just going to take some time to heal. Then the issue will be the extent of the nerve damage....will he be able to use the leg again. It's going to be a long haul for this guy, but he's eating well, his spirits are good, and he's got a safe place to take as long as he needs to recover! I am hoping for the best...something only time will tell.
I had put off naming him, not knowing his fate. However as it seems he may be around for a while...a friend has taken to calling him Boston for lack of a better name from me....so Boston it is V! :)