Weather reeks havoc on native wildlife in the Houston area. If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it will change. This seems very true here in the Houston area the last few weeks. We have seen snow, freezing temperatures, sunshine, wind and rain. Our native wildlife as been seen trying to adjust to all these changes. Squirrels are burying acorns like there is no tomorrow and birds are flocking to backyard bird feeders, and yet babies are still being born. Obviously, these mothers didn't get the memo. Friday night another storm blew through the Houston area bringing a cold rain and strong winds. A flying squirrel nest blew down spilling three helpless little ones to the ground. A kind gentleman scooped them up and went to great lengths to keep them warm. He drove them up to the Wildlife Center on a motorcycle but those were the warmest babies that have come through the Wildlife Center doors. They have been given warm fluids to hydrate them and they are well on their way to having a second chance at life thanks to the team effort of the rescuer and the Wildlife Center volunteers. It is amazing that babies are coming through our doors, don’t the parents know it is winter? The normal first arrivals each year are Great Horned Owl babies. The parents are currently refreshing an existing nest or tree cavity in anticipation.
WR&E Rises to the Challenge - with a little help from our friends! The Wildlife Center was spic and span for our Annual Open House when all eyes shifted to the Gulf and Hurricane Ike. Any Gulf Coast hurricane makes rehabilitators anxious, but Ike seemed determined to follow in Rita’s footsteps. Executive Director, Sharon Schmalz evacuated to the Wildlife Center Friday (9/12) and with the help of some volunteers prepared the center and its animals for the storm. Saturday morning, Sharon reported minor damage and began shifting animals around by flashlight. By noon, people began showing up with baby squirrels. Without power, it was difficult to care for the wildlife already in residence, much less the injured and orphaned by Ike. We are affiliated with the Houston SPCA and they invited us next door where a huge generator was providing power. That afternoon we received 100+ babies. All four HSPCA veterinarians and vet techs helped triage, administer fluids and feed. Sunday, additional rehabilitators and volunteers were able to make it to the Wildlife Center to help with another 100+ squirrels. Monday brought another 300+ squirrels. Power was restored Tuesday afternoon and WR&E’s volunteers poured in to help. HSPCA volunteers not needed for companion animal care were quickly trained and supervised. We began accepting volunteers from the general public and wound up training 160 emergency wildlife caretakers. Wednesday passed in a blur with over 100 more squirrels. Sixteen hour days, worrying about how to find gas to commute from a house that probably didn't have power began to wear. We were able to keep up at that point but started worrying about the next several days. Our phones finally started working on Thursday and [...]