Strong rains have drenched the Houston area in the last few weeks, helping to bring a bit of relief from the severe drought. However, the drought damage to local trees is still causing problems for area wildlife. The dead and weakened trees can be seen from The Woodlands all the way to Galveston. Due to public safety concerns, work crews must cut these dead trees down. Sadly, when the trees come down, so do the nests built by a variety of native Texas wildlife.
Houston is still in the midst of a very active baby squirrel season, and many squirrels have chosen to make their nests in these dead trees. When the trees are cut down to minimize human danger, the nests filled with babies also comes down. If this happens in your yard, make sure the babies have not been injured and then place the nest in a box as close as possible to the tree that was taken down. Mother squirrels are very good moms and will want to get their babies back to care for them. If they can easily find the box, they will quickly retrieve their babies and move them to a new nest site.
If the babies are injured and the mother does not come back within several hours, or if there are hazards such as cats in your area, you may bring the babies to The Wildlife Center of Texas. The Wildlife Center of Texas’s volunteers and staff will care for these small creatures until they are ready to return to the wild. They have their baby squirrel nursery set up, and it is already filling up with orphaned and injured squirrels. Formulas and foods are being stocked, and volunteers have just finished with more training on the care of these precious babies. In addition, Eagle Scouts have come to the rescue and are building new squirrel release cages.
If you find injured or orphaned squirrels or any other type of wildlife, put the wild animal in a box with soft rags, keep the animal as warm as possible and place it in a quiet, dark place. Do not attempt to give the animal any food or water, and take it to The Wildlife Center of Texas in the morning.