A reminder to arborists to climb up and thoroughly check for wildlife before cutting down a tree, as squirrels, birds, and other critters may be hiding in the branches.
That’s according to BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) manager Ginelle Smith, who says 19 baby squirrels have been admitted in recent weeks after falling from trees cut down or due to windstorms.
“This time of year, there are animals in those trees,” explained Smith.
“It’s spring, and we’re in British Columbia. There are birds up there, and there are eagles up there. There are lots.”
With 35 animals currently in its care, the Metchosin-based centre would expect the bulk to be baby birds. Only this time around, they’ve got more squirrels.
“It’s the first time that’s happened,” Smith told Victoria Buzz.
“We have more this year because of construction. Trees are being fallen, and some squirrels are coming from construction sites.”
Last week, a trio of Eastern Grey baby squirrels were admitted. Two saw their nest destroyed by high winds, while the third fell from their nest after their home tree was cut down.
And the aftermath was both traumatic and painful.
That’s because they couldn’t be reunited with their moms, with x-rays finding all three suffered broken legs, meaning intensive daily care, including pain medications and a specialized diet, is required.
It’s prompting Wild ARC to launch a fundraising campaign, seeking $1733 in donations from the public via its website to help cover medical costs.
“Our supporters are amazing,” said Smith, noting nearly $800 has been raised so far.
“We have a great community of really generous people who always provide funding to us to help us with our everyday work.”
According to Smith, the centre has a permit to rehabilitate Eastern Grey squirrels, with requirements to ensure their safe release back into the wild.
Smith says the injured squirrels will likely be in Wild ARC’s care for several months until they’re old enough to be on their own.
You can donate to Wild ARC’s fundraiser here.