When natural disasters strike, a mobilization of relief workers from various agencies such as the Red Cross, National Guard, and FEMA are ready to respond, bringing in food and water, working to restore power, and setting up temporary shelter to assist in returning the disaster zone and the lives of those within it back to normal.
Animal rescuers also play a vital role in rehabilitating disaster touched habitats. One local resident and licensed wildlife rescuer, Birgit Sommer, who operates Rainbow Wildlife Rescue in Stephenville, recently made a trip to the Metroplex to pick up 15 baby squirrels orphaned by Hurricane Ike.
Sommer said with the assistance of locals, she hopes to bring more homeless squirrels to the area.
“Hurricane Ike has left literally thousands of baby squirrels orphaned on the ground in Houston and in the surrounding areas,” Sommer said.
“One wildlife rescuers alone received 730 infant squirrels!”In the days following Ike’s destruction, Sommer said her phone has been ringing non-stop and e-mails began piling up, all from people looking for refuge for baby squirrels they had rescued. She said many of the people seeking help didn’t even have electricity to care for themselves and their families but they were still taking in the tiniest of hurricane victims.
While Sommer was only able to bring 15 squirrels home in her first round of aide, she hopes to bring more to her local sanctuary on East Clifton. She said when she picked up her tiny patients, she was told about 600 more were on their way to Dallas. The problem is that not just anyone can adopt a baby squirrel. You have to have a state wildlife rehabilitation permit, which Sommer does.