June 5th, 2013
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...
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.
2 ...And I told her that she would always be welcome in our home if she needed us!
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...
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!
5 It was not easy to leave Frances with Maggie- I missed her already but I knew it was what was best for her.
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.
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!
8 Frances is now able to sip up her formula on her own!
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.
10 This little guy came to Maggie for care the day after Frances did- she named him Bumper...
11 Once Maggie felt Frances was ready- she was carefully introduced to others close to her age...
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...
13 Frances and Lucky bonded immediately - they have started looking out for one another already!
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...
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.
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!
Dr. Pia Salk
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