A couple of months ago (on March 6, to be precise), I mentioned that I joined Nebraska Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc., and volunteered to help to transport animals that have been injured or orphaned to the specialist most qualified to provide the care needed for the particular type of animal and its needs. I signed up for Thursdays, and the day before yesterday was my fourth opportunity to drive to the Nebraska Humane Society headquarters, check for animals presented by anyone (the general public, animal control officers, police, firemen, etc.), conduct a brief but thorough physical examination to determine their species, approximate age, health status, severity and extent of any injuries, decide on the best course for their rehabilitation, and transport them to the most-appropriate specialist. My first transport, four weeks ago, included a young fox squirrel, about the size of a large hamster, and three hatchling birds, not yet clearly identifiable as to species. (Squiddy was still visiting then, came along for the ride, and made the photo of the young squirrel.) My second involved four very young cottontail rabbits, a fledgeling ruffed grouse, and a pigeon. Last week there were two fledgeling starlings. This Thursday, in addition to a young robin almost ready to fly, I had the chance to get a close look at six
little raccoon cubs—five siblings around 2½ weeks of age and another around 3½ weeks. None were injured, although the five smaller cubs were (only mildly) dehydrated, so the prognosis for their full rehabilitation and eventual release back into the wild is excellent. I am looking forward to seeing what other animals the Fates may bring to cross paths with me, and rest assured that I’ll keep you Posted as well.