NAPANEE – It’s feeding time for these tiny baby squirrels. They’re only a few weeks old but they require a lot of work — which includes meals every 2 hours, even throughout the night. The Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre specializes in care for orphaned wild animals. It’s one of the few facilities in Ontario that takes in what they call “eyes closed babies”.
Julia Evoi/Vet Assistant, Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre:
“When they first are born they are born hairless and blind. So they basically can’t see or hear and they grow their fur in gradually as they age. They don’t open their eyes until about 4 weeks old.”
“My favourite were the baby squirrels!”
This is a unique opportunity for the public to see what kind of work is done here — and the event helps raise funds to keep the work going.
It’s called their annual baby shower – because who can resist baby animals!?
“I’m excited I saw baby sheep, baby cows and baby goats.”
“I’ve never been to anything like this before and I’m just amazed by everything here!”
The work couldn’t be done without the help of hundreds of volunteers and interns like Adam Dutra who is feeding some baby starlings.
Adam Dutra/Intern: ”
I had no idea the number of animals that were here until I got here. I’m surprised everyday by what I learn.”
“This little one here is a painted turtle. She was found just a few weeks ago after she was hit by a car on Highway 15 in Kingston. After pain medication and shell repair, she will soon be ready for release.”
But the care doesn’t come without a cost…
Sue Meech/Founder, Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre:
“We can do X-rays and minor operations here for wild animals. So we need money for salaries.
We need money for food, medication, caging, all kinds of things.”
And it wouldn’t really be a baby shower without gifts… Hundreds of aptly decorated gift bags filled with goodies were donated and stuffed into these play pens.
The Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre has been in operation since 1994.
It helps more than 3 thousand mammals, birds and reptiles each year — and stands as the largest wildlife rehabilitation centre in all of Eastern Ontario.