Baby Shower Goes Wild!

By Mary Ann Bragg
Cape Cod Times. Posted July 1st 2017, at 4:33 PM. Updated July 1, 2017 at 10:00 PM

EASTHAM — Some humans got a chance to pet a tiny squirrel and hold an Eastern box turtle on Saturday.

“He felt a little squirmy,” said Leah Noller, 6, of Wallingford, Pennsylvania, about the turtle named #45.

Noller and her sister Maddy, 11, and their grandparents were among at least two dozen adults and kids at a “wild baby shower” thrown for the littlest and youngest creatures at Wild Care Inc. on Smith Lane.

Greg Luszcz, of Brewster, along with his wife, brought much-needed shallow baskets with netting, the $5 kind you might buy for an outdoor picnic table. At Wild Care, the baskets are perfect, when padded, to serve as a nursery for baby birds, said board member Jody Hines, of Brewster, who was keeping track of the shower gifts. A new feather duster, Hines said, would be a stand-in for a “mother” for baby ducklings. Guests at the shower also brought jugs of laundry detergent, big bags of bird seed, rolls of paper towels, webbed place mats for baby birds to walk around on, dried worm meal and unflavored Pedialyte to help cure dehydration.

The nonprofit organization’s wildlife rehabilitation specialists treat birds, mammals and reptiles with the goal of returning them to the wild.

“One of the most exciting things for me has been to see releases,” Hines said. “When we will bring a seagull to the beach, and we have them in the crate. I have goosebumps right now. It’s so amazing. You open the door and you walk away. And the seagull is a little tentative. They’ll walk a little bit, walk a little bit and then all of a sudden it takes its first flight.”

But the baby birds, opossums, squirrels and rabbits that arrive on Wild Care’s doorstep often have no parents, and need sustained human intervention for survival. Some, too, given their illnesses, may never leave.

Up-Up, a petite Eastern screech owl, has a permanent wing injury and will stay at Wild Care for life. Marcy, the tiny squirrel, has a rare illness, a form of dwarfism, that prevents her from being able to take care of herself in the wild, said wildlife rehabilitator Niki Walley. “She can’t sit up and crack a nut,” Walley said.

As visitors gathered around to pet Marcy lightly on the head, she remained quiet and wide-eyed, cuddled in a towel in a human’s arms.

Full article with video here:

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Wild Care has a state-of-the-art seabird therapy pool, which allows seabirds and waterfowl to exercise on running water. This will help our bird friends recover more quickly so they can get back to their watery habitats!