SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah Wildlife Rescue Center says injured and orphaned animals are still out there four days after Hurricane Dorian.
Jeanne Paddison — the founder of the center — says they are taking care of nearly 80 squirrels whose homes were destroyed in the wind and rain.
“The nests get wet and heavy and they fall through. They fill up with water so they’re all jumping and falling out,” said Paddison.
If a baby has been alone for days, Paddison says he/she may be near death. Once they arrive at the center, their chances for survival greatly increase.
“Their body weight is down. They’re dehydrated,” said Paddison. “They’re cold and near death.”
Paddison says people dropped off more squirrels after Hurricane Dorian — than after Hurricane Matthew — because most people did not evacuate. People were able to spot animals quicker and drop them off safely.
“Warmth is the most important thing,” said Paddison. “Warmth and hydration.”
In past storms, it took days for people to come back and spot the babies.
After babies get back to normal and reach an age of 5.5-6 months old, volunteers release them back into the wild.
Squirrels need to be hand-fed three times each day. Because there are so many, it takes volunteers hours to get it done.
If you see an injured or orphaned animal, call the center. It is important to call before dropping off an animal because there is a chance the baby could be reunited with its mother.
Paddison the chances of that happening are around 1 in 40.
The number to call is (912) 596-1237.
The center is also looking for volunteers and donations. Call the same number to ask for more information.