Frances of Pleasantville- Part II

Posted by Pia

Last week Minnow and I introduced you to our new friend, Frances the orphaned squirrel. Well- as promised- an update on the latest with Frances's progress...

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As I drove Frances to meet Maggie, the wildlife rehabilitation specialist who would prepare her for her eventual release into the wild, I assured her she was in good hands.

1 As I drove Frances to meet Maggie, the wildlife rehabilitation specialist who would prepare her for her eventual release into the wild, I assured her she was in good hands.

...And I told her that she would always be welcome in our home if she needed us!

2 ...And I told her that she would always be welcome in our home if she needed us!

Upon meeting Maggie- I knew she would look out for Frances- she had the training and skills needed to get Frances on the right path...

3 Upon meeting Maggie- I knew she would look out for Frances- she had the training and skills needed to get Frances on the right path...

Maggie had rehabilitated many squirrels and other wildlife who were now happily back in the wild- free- as nature meant for them to be!

4 Maggie had rehabilitated many squirrels and other wildlife who were now happily back in the wild- free- as nature meant for them to be!

It was not easy to leave Frances with Maggie- I missed her already but I knew it was what was best for her.

5 It was not easy to leave Frances with Maggie- I missed her already but I knew it was what was best for her.

I gave Maggie a gift I'd made for her as a token of thanks for providing a link in the chain that would assure Frances's freedom.

6 I gave Maggie a gift I'd made for her as a token of thanks for providing a link in the chain that would assure Frances's freedom.

Within hours of having Frances, Maggie sent me this photo of her having her first formula- choc full' of nutrients similar to what her own mama would have provided for her!

7 Within hours of having Frances, Maggie sent me this photo of her having her first formula- choc full' of nutrients similar to what her own mama would have provided for her!

Frances is now able to sip up her formula on her own!

8 Frances is now able to sip up her formula on her own!

Maggie works with all sorts of wildlife- like this little fox! One of her goals for Frances is to socialize her with other squirrels in similar circumstances- she will then be released with into the wild with her new friends.

9 Maggie works with all sorts of wildlife- like this little fox! One of her goals for Frances is to socialize her with other squirrels in similar circumstances- she will then be released with into the wild with her new friends.

This little guy came to Maggie for care the day after Frances did- she named him Bumper...

10 This little guy came to Maggie for care the day after Frances did- she named him Bumper...

Once Maggie felt Frances was ready- she was carefully introduced to others close to her age...

11 Once Maggie felt Frances was ready- she was carefully introduced to others close to her age...

It is important that wildlife be taught the same kinds of skills that they would ordinarily learn from there own parents in the wild...

12 It is important that wildlife be taught the same kinds of skills that they would ordinarily learn from there own parents in the wild...

Frances and Lucky bonded immediately - they have started looking out for one another already!

13 Frances and Lucky bonded immediately - they have started looking out for one another already!

The day that Frances cracked a nut on her own was a big one!  This means she is learning the critical skills needed to care for herself in the wild...

14 The day that Frances cracked a nut on her own was a big one! This means she is learning the critical skills needed to care for herself in the wild...

Wildlife rehabilitators (like Janet, above) are well trained regarding the needs of various species. While Janet often must handle orphaned youngsters, in order to care for them-  she cautions against handling and socializing wildlife to humans overall as this can render them vulnerable and less apt to survive.

15 Wildlife rehabilitators (like Janet, above) are well trained regarding the needs of various species. While Janet often must handle orphaned youngsters, in order to care for them- she cautions against handling and socializing wildlife to humans overall as this can render them vulnerable and less apt to survive.

Frances has now taken on a protective role with Lucky- soon these BFFs will be re-released together and returned to the freedom that awaits them...

16 Frances has now taken on a protective role with Lucky- soon these BFFs will be re-released together and returned to the freedom that awaits them...

A huge thanks - from both Frances and myself- to Maggie Ciarcia-Belloni, a licensed (state, federal and USDA) wildlife rehabber for 17 years!

Maggie not only helpa squirrels like Ms. Frances- she rehabs a variety of species! While she specializes in mammals like opossum, squirrels, fox and coyote, she often helps turkey as well! Maggie provides human/wildlife conflict resolution information to the public and she also leads workshops on how to become a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

In fact, Maggie frequently visits schools, scouts, and other such venues with her 'education opossum- Princess P.'
Maggie is an active board member for The New York Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (NYSWRC.org). She and her colleagues are all trained volunteers, licensed by NYS DEC (department of environmental conservation).

When she is not rehabbing wildlife, Maggie stays busy assisting with domestic ferret rescue. She is a true friend, and protector, to our fellow critters!

Check in for more on Frances's progress next week!

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Comments (6)

  • Good morning Dr. Pia,
    How have you been? I have missed a couple of weeks and for that I am sorry. This is a great adventure of the little lost squirrel. I'm so happy for the wild life rehabbers.
    Good luck Frances!
    Your pal,
    Rebel

  • Hello Dr. Pia & Frances,
    Good to see you are making friends. You are getting stronger every day and soon, you and Lucky will be out and about free as the wind. Glad there are caring people like Maggie in the world to help critters. Just like us, that get forever homes. Have a GEM of a day all. Busy here---Weston is closing on his house and I must prepare for the party. Yahoooooo!
    Love & licks,
    Ruby

  • Hi Dr. Pia and Minnow, WOW! Sweet Frances certainly is getting the best care she deserves from you and Maggie! It is so great that you and Maggie do such great thing to help animals who need lots of help to survive and be around other animals like them! Sweet Minnow, I'll bet you love them, too! These photos are absolutely marvelous and so are your delightful comments, also! My Mom does all she can to help other animals no matter what type they are and of course she saved me from a terrible place where I was born! I am one happy fellow and will be 9 years old on Sunday! Sure hope you and Minnow have a wonderful weekend and we will, too! Best wishes to all of our Glue Squad buddies and hope to read your comments real soon! Love, Dudley Do Right and Jan XOXOXO+

  • Hello Dr.Pia, Maggie, Frances and Lucky,
    It is wonderful to see and hear about how well little Frances is doing. The wildlife rehabilitators do a great job in helping these orphan and sometimes injured animals. Many years ago my mom helped bottle feed tiny baby opossums that she rescued out of a mother possum's pouch when it was hit by a car on our road. A wildlife rehabilitator took the baby possums and they were successfully treated, cared for and released back into the wild.
    Often they work long, selfless hours caring for all these animals. Thank you to you and Maggie for all you do to help out each day!!!
    Jimmy Byron Dean the persian boy
    P.S. Glue squad remember Dudley tomorrow!!

  • ..glad the little guy is doing good..hate to see a fellow critter in need..over and out, Black Mama

  • Greetings Dr Pia and Glue Squaders everywhere!

    Really great to see Frances thriving. Our pack of squirrels know how to turn on the charm to get peanuts from Mom and Dad. Especially Silas and Hector!
    I personally would send them running back to the woods, but nooooo, here they come up on the patio and Mom and Dad are throwing peanuts!
    I do have to agree that they are cute little buggers.
    Brutus and I have a question, though. Do boy squirrels have nipples? We've noticed that Silas has four nipples and a big belly. Should we re-name Silas or what?
    Gotta go....think I hear the treat jar opening!!
    Pugs and kisses
    Max, with Brutus.

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