I’ve been volunteering at the Wildlife Center of Virginia for a couple of months now. It’s a lot of work, but I love it.
The goal of the Wildlife Center is to treat the animals, then release them back into the wild. They end up with a lot of squirrels. Once the squirrels are healthy and strong enough to be released, they need volunteers who are willing to take them. A couple of weeks ago they asked me if I’d be interested in releasing some squirrels. I told them I would.
Last Sunday morning, we drove out to the center to pick up our squirrels.
They put the squirrels in a box that looks like a large wooden bird house. We were instructed to attach the box to a tree fairly high off the ground, then cut the ties holding the wire mesh covering the opening, thus freeing the squirrels.
Supposedly, there were two squirrels in our box. We were told that the squirrels most likely would not come out right away, but that we should be prepared for them to, and that we should NOT peek into the hole.
Once in the box, the squirrels did not move around or make any noise at all. We wondered if we were attaching an empty box to a tree in our yard.
The first tree we chose didn’t work. The trunk was too wide. The box was heavy and I didn’t feel steady enough on the ladder to hoist the box up and get the bungee all the way around the trunk.We found another tree with a branch that provided a nice crook that held the box in place while I attached the bungee cords.
I cut the ties, spread out some food (provided by the Wildlife Center) on the branches and underneath the tree, then we left the squirrels alone to do their squirrel thing.
I kept checking on them throughout the afternoon. Finally, about three hours later, I saw one of the squirrels poke its head out of the hole. He climbed out and started exploring the tree. It was fun watching him explore. Every little noise sent him scurrying back into the box.
After that, we didn’t see any movement near the tree for a couple of days, but when I got home from my run this morning, there was a squirrel under the tree eating the food I’d scattered there.