Thursday, June 20, 2013

Please don't feed the Squirrels! Collateral Damage

I returned yesterday to check on the squirrels.  I hadn't been here since stopping in last Saturday, when everything seemed pretty normal. I was curious as to what I was going to find after about a week of staying away. The first thing I found was a bunch of very hungry squirrels.  

The good news: Gray Momma's tree is no longer off limits to other squirrels, and the tree is buzzing with life. 

The bad news: I saw evidence everywhere of the collateral damage caused by the war on squirrel feeders, which is turning out to be a war on squirrels:

Head Shots

Tail Shots
Cinny's formerly orange tail has turned white!

Dead Squirrel

I found this poor squirrel covered with flies


Sick Squirrel

This exquisite creature is a member of the purple family that I was recently blogging about that lives in The Purple Tree by the fountain. The little one is having trouble eating. It takes a very long time to eat one small nut. It's always a life-threatening condition when a squirrel cannot chew. It can happen for a couple of reasons: a malocclusion, which is where the squirrel's teeth keep growing because they are not getting ground down for some reason, or a systemic infection that can result from a a
lowered immune system due to not getting enough nutrition. In either case, it's a serious condition that needs the attention of a rehabber or vet.

He's so hungry that he shakes as he eats

All squirrels are worth saving, but a purple squirrel is especially precious, not just because they're so beautiful, but because they're so rare. I've never seen them anywhere else but at Peter Cooper Village. I can remember when there was only one, then two, and now a whole family is living in the Purple Tree.

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