Additional than 30 flying squirrels have identified a short-term home at the Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Penn Hills.
The native rodents, southern flying squirrels, had been introduced to the middle this winter in two big teams right after the squirrels’ Western Pennsylvania households have been no lengthier acceptable.
Katie Kefalos, director of wildlife rehabilitation at the center, stated the 31 squirrels have adjusted to their out of doors enclosures. The middle has delivered enrichment to continue to keep the animals entertained with piles of leaves and straw, as effectively as contraptions where by the squirrels have to perform a little bit to locate food items.
“They have been gliding in our much larger place, which is pretty great. It is 1 of the specifications to maintain them enriched,” she claimed. “It is fascinating that they are doing that.”
Kefalos stated the middle normally usually takes care of a team of southern traveling squirrels every year, but this 12 months is the largest populace they have taken in.
The much larger group of 19 squirrels was introduced to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Heart by the Pennsylvania Recreation Fee immediately after their habitat in close proximity to Bolivar village in eastern Westmoreland County was ruined. Kefalos said the team is currently being held in a significant enclosure in the centre and arrived Feb. 1.
The smaller sized team arrived Feb. 8 and has been damaged up into two teams and stored in two a little bit lesser enclosures. Kefalos reported this group was brought from the Tamarack Wildlife Heart in Crawford County after a household they were being living in was marketed and the sellers apprehensive the new customers wouldn’t take the traveling squirrels dwelling in the home’s attic.
She explained all the squirrels have been evaluated on arrival and ended up unhurt. Kefalos said they are remaining retained in the centre right until mid-April because, when their habitats ended up no for a longer period appropriate, that intended their cached food items — acorns, nuts and other meals they gathered just before winter season — was misplaced. She reported it will only be safe to return them to the wild when spring thoroughly comes and they can forage once more.
“We are content to enable their populations and maintain on to them until eventually it warms up and they can be put back again,” explained Kefalos.
Southern traveling squirrels are the lesser of two traveling squirrel species that simply call Pennsylvania residence. The other is the much larger northern traveling squirrel, which is endangered in the point out, Kefalos explained. In spite of their identify, they cannot fly and, as an alternative, have flaps of skin connected to their legs that enable them to glide very long distances from tree to tree.
Flying squirrels are nocturnal and are not typically spotted in the wild by people.
Kefalos stated the heart has been feeding the squirrels a diet of nuts this sort of as acorns, walnuts and almonds, as very well as fruits and veggies and even some insects. She claimed the goal is to try to continue to keep their momentary diet in the shelter as shut to what they typically would eat.
Humane Animal Rescue will accept donations to support pay out for foodstuff and enrichment right until the squirrels are introduced in the spring.
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