Wildlife rehabilitator saves baby squirrels from certain death
Jennifer Burgin has a very special job. She spends her time nurturing tiny babies who would die without her care, shared WLOS.
Burgin is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and she specializes in caring for cute baby squirrels.
This is by no means an easy task, and Burgin has her hands full with many tiny mouths to hand-feed every few hours.
Squirrel birthing and mating season occur twice a year: once between December and February, then again in late June through August.
"Squirrels are responsible for planting much of our forests. You're doing this so they can fulfill their destiny, so they can go out and do what they were meant to do."
Jennifer Burgin, WLOS, 3rd of September 2018.
Baby squirrels are born with no fur
Female squirrels have a gestation period lasting 38 to 46 days and give birth in early spring or late summer.
It is at this time that many tiny squirrels fall out of their nests - much as baby birds do - and are brought to Burgin.
At this stage, she explains, squirrels look like baby rats with bushy tails, which is no surprise, since squirrels are rodents too.
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A rare white squirrel was rescued at a church
Burgin has many baby squirrels in her charge, among them a white squirrel which was less than a week old when she began caring for it.
The tiny mite was found outside St. Phillips Church in Brevard and had practically no hair on its small pink body. Now it is growing stronger, nursing from an eyedropper and growing the first fuzz of fur on its nose.
A storm swept a nest off a tree
Another group of orphaned babies are siblings A storm tore their nest down, and a passer-by who heard them crash and brought the squirrels to Burgin.
The same night, Burgin got a call from a person who had found a tiny squirrel on their driveway.
She took it in and identified it as a gray squirrel from the fur on its nose. The baby is recovering well and sucking down the formula Burgin feeds it vigorously.
Squirrels are an important part of the ecological system
Burgin started working at animal rescue with birds, many years ago, but she ended up falling in love with squirrels.
She started out years ago working with birds. Then she began squirreling away time strictly for squirrels. THough the work is intensive and exhausting, Burgin confesses that it is profoundly satisfying.
Burgin believes that squirrels play a fundamental part in the ecosystem, planting trees and extending the forest, and every time she releases a healthy squirrel back into the wild she is helping Mother Nature stay healthy.
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