Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Orphaned squirrels come on in squeaks and bounds!

Hello again!

Here’s a sweet story about some special squirrels: three tiny orphaned Three-Striped Palm Squirrel pups arrived recently at the Animal Tracks centre and, being too young to survive without their mother, their care was immediately undertaken by IAR's Abby who has a wealth of experience in successfully rearing a variety of rescued wild baby creatures.

The pups are thriving
The three little pups soon settled into their temporary home and eagerly thrived on Abby's regular feeding regime of chickoo, papaya, banana, custard apple and cerelec (a dietary supplement often given to orphans of many species that are cared for at the centre). Time has passed and the pups have grown stronger and more inquisitive: one in particular seems to stand out as leader of the gang, being more active, naughty and adventurous than the other two. Now, as they've reached about seven weeks old, it has become necessary to build them a larger cage in which they can exercise and play. Their new enclosure will eventually be hung outside in a tree: it has a little flapping door which will be released allowing the pups to come and go as they please, easing their transition back into the wild when they feel ready.

Three's a crowd at mealtimes!
In the wild they would be weaned at about ten weeks old. But for now their new purpose-built house will provide them with a safe, dry shelter where they can return for food and sleep until the day eventually comes when the three little squirrels become confident enough to take their final leap into the big wide world away from Animal Tracks, bidding farewell to all at the centre, with particular thanks to nanny Abby! According to ancient legend, Three-Striped Palm Squirrels are closely associated with the Hindu deity Lord Rama, giving these little rodents a sacred and protected status throughout India. So they really are very special indeed. That’s all for now!

Love Olive x

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