Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baby squirrels getting the help they need

"I thought I would drop you a line and see if you might be interested in writing a story about Empty Cages Collective's urban wildlife rescue & rehabilitation work in New York City--specifically squirrels.

Empty Cages Collective has been inundated with injured and orphaned squirrels this spring -- as well as phone calls nearly every day to admit more into our wildlife rehabilitation project. Virtually all of these animals are the victims of negative human impact-- people cut down their nest trees or trim branches where nests are, the mothers are killed by cars or poisoned, and other babies come to us sick and dehydrated because people inadequately tried to care for them themselves to make them into pets (squirrels make terrible pets and are miserable captives and should be allowed to live their lives freely in their native habitats, not incarcerated in a cage in the name of an "exotic pet".) Other people and businesses orphan these animals by trapping and killing or trapping and relocating their mothers because they deem them to be nuisances (you reported about this in Astoria a few years back).

Many of the wild animals we admit we "pull" from NYC Animal Care & Control where they are to be killed because ACC isn't willing or able to take care of these animals. Many of the orphaned and injured wild animals we admit are from Queens.

Here is a photograph of one of our many orphaned babies (we have 12 tiny orphans currently, as well as some older adults).
All of these animals will be released once they are healed or old enough to survive on their own! It would be nice to bring attention to the fact that these animals are worthy of compassion and humane treatment, are generally in trouble due to negative human impact rather than nature, and do have options if they are truly injured and orphaned and in need of assistance."

PJ McKosky, NYS-licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator
Empty Cages Collective


Anonymous said...

Its good to see the rescue group doing the work needed to bring these squirrels back into a natural environment they deserve.

Anonymous said...

How long does a baby squirrel need care? If you cannot cage them - how do you care for them?

Babs said...

My friend had a pet squirrel years ago - it was an abandoned baby that she found in her yard.

She nursed it and named it - and built a large adorable tree house which sat high on an old oak tree branch over her deck. The squirrel would come in and out of her house like a cat would - he would scratch on the window until someone let him in.

I was amazed at the time how affectionate he was with them as he would often be seen on their shoulders or on their labs when sitting on the front porch.

They loved him so - he had a great life.

Anonymous said...

This city has too many 3rd world country people who don't like nature and turn their backyards into cement blocks with no trees. it is disgusting

Anonymous said...

I call them my "tree angels".

The best therapy in NYC can be had for the price of a bag of (unsalted) peanuts you can hand feed to the precocious squirrels in Union Square Park.

They are wonderful creatures that inspire me with their intelligence, agility and amusing antics.

In an often overly sophisticated city, they bring my heart to a place of simple pleasure, peace and faith.

I've since become a member of the "Squirrel Lover's Club".

They can be found on line.

Anonymous said...

Many times while I'm sitting on my front steps sketching..."Bitsy", a cute female squirrel, will spot me and come up to me to beg for a peanut.

I pull one from my pocket and toss her one...make a few lines...then she comes back for another...I put down a few more lines and throw her a peanut and we pass the time together.

What a sublime respite for both of us.

Anonymous said...

Blessings on this group for their work saving the innocent, natural inhabitants of the city. Too bad Animal Care & Control doesn't automatically contact the Collective to have them save the squirrels.

Squirrels are not pests-- they were here first, and are just doing what God created them to do. Some of us find them to be adorable rascals, but even if one doesn't like them, their right to life doesn't depend on someone liking them.

And, after all, squirrels spread trees and flowers by burying seeds, bulbs, etc. By the way, if you should choose to feed them peanuts in a park, the peanuts should be roasted (the raw ones are bad for them), unsalted, and in the shells.

Bless the animals.

Anonymous said...

Just let them loose in your attic and see how long you are willing to care for them before you get your shotgun out!

squirrelmama said...

You guys are awesome. That baby looks rested and well cared for. Congrats, from a colleague in Suffolk, do you need donations of cages?