Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education
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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spring into Summer Update

It has been an exciting spring for all of us with Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc. (NWRI)! We have received several charges that are unusual in rehab, including a baby beaver, a baby muskrat, 3 baby minks, and a beautiful Franklin’s gull. All of these aquatic creatures have really tested the limits of our caging resources (we don’t have that many pools!) but we are really enjoying their time with us, and are thrilled at how well they are growing and learning the skills they need for their release.
The big story for us right now is the extreme number of baby raccoons we have received and are trying to manage right now. After a very slow start to raccoons this spring, they have been flooding in! We have about 80 babies now with another month or so for juveniles to continue to be admitted for care, and we need your help! Please consider the following:

VOLUNTEER – Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a brand-new volunteer, we need help now! We have 14 babies in need of immediate placement, including the following:

- A litter of four that are nursing well off a bottle. They are working on weaning now, and will need about two to three weeks in care before moving outside.

- A single baby, far younger than our other babies, that needs to be fed four times a day. She needs about five weeks with a rehabilitator before she can be weaned.

- Three single babies, all eating formula out of a dish. They need to be weaned, and will require another two to three weeks in care before moving outside.

- Another litter of three babies, all eating formula out of a dish. They need to be weaned, and will require another two weeks in care before moving outside. These babies are not friendly and will need an experienced hand.
**Please note that to be a raccoon volunteer, you must be in a house (no apartments please!) and there cannot be any children under the age of 12 in your home.

If you’d like to help, please call Laura at 960-4366 or e-mail her at lastastny@yahoo.com. If you have never completed a volunteer application, you can find it online at:

http://www.nebraskawildliferehab.org/pdf/get_involved/volunteering/application.pdf


DONATE – Raccoons are the most expensive animal we rehabilitate on a regular basis. Each baby costs NWRI about $50 to raise, including formula, food and caging. Please consider donating today to sponsor one or more babies!

http://www.nebraskawildliferehab.org/how_you_can_help.html#donations


BUILD A CAGE – With all of the extra babies, we need more caging! Raccoons spend about eight weeks in an outdoor wilding cage once they are weaned. We need additional cages and release sites for them to accommodate all of our raccoons! A new cage costs about $200 to build, so you can help by donating to build a new cage, or by putting a cage on your property if you live in a rural area with good raccoon habitat!


If you have any questions about how you can help us with our raccoon explosion, please call or e-mail Laura at 960-4366 or lastastny@yahoo.com.


There are tons of other exciting developments happening at NWRI this spring, including a project with the Underwood Hills Focus School to build an Outdoor Science Classroom and wildlife habitat on school grounds, and a new home of our own! Watch your mail for our newsletter with more details in the coming weeks. If you’re not on our mailing list, you can make a donation to receive the newsletter or watch our Web site for the new newsletter, which will be posted there once it is sent!

That's the update. Thanks for all you do!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baby opossums in my backyard

I'm currently rearing a litter of six little joeys. They're lapping their formula now and very interested in applesauce, escaping their kennel, scattering in all directions in the backyard, and practicing their climbing with this tree and tire swing!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Have you ever seen a mink?

I hadn't, until Nebraska Wildlife received these three sweet little babies!


Last month a local business had to move a piece of heavy machinery that had been sitting all winter on a work site near the Missouri river in northeast Omaha.  When they did, a mother mink ran out, leaving behind her three babies that were only a few days old.  It was a blustery, rainy day, but one of the workers knew he needed to give the mother a chance to reclaim her young, so he put them in a container and left them near the original den site, making sure they stayed warm.  The kind worker did exactly the right thing, but unfortunately the mother didn't return the entire day, likely due to all the human commotion and noise on the work site.  Because the day was so cold and wet, the minks' rescuer knew he couldn't leave them on the construction site overnight, and had no choice but to take the babies home with him when he left for the day.  He immediately called NWRI and transferred them to us so that they could receive the care they needed.  
 
 
Over the past three weeks, they have more than quadrupled in weight and are beginning to look more like mink than they did when they first arrived.  They are getting very close to opening their eyes (mink open their eyes at 3 1/2 to four weeks of age) and will be transitioned off of formula and over to solid food within a few weeks after that.  We are working on designing and building a wilding cage specifically for mink, as they can escape from most of our traditional caging.  They'll need to spend time in this cage to acclimate to the outdoors, so we expect to have them for a few months as they learn to hunt, swim, and make their way in the wild! 
 
 Just look at these tiny things. What a privilege to care for them, and what a responsibility to do it right!


Would you like to help us care for these fuzzy little mink? Every donated dollar goes directly to food in these creatures' bellies and the wilding cages we build for them. Help us help animals here!

We'll be back with updates....thanks for all you do!
Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc. needs a home of our own to care for more animals and provide hands-on educational programs for the students of Nebraska. WE NEED YOUR HELP to make our dream a reality! Please donate today! Interested in learning more about "A Home of Our Own", click here.
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