Tiny Ike survivors receive special attention

Wednesday, September 24th 2008, 4:45 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

NOBLE, Okla. -- It's taken a couple of weeks, but finally over 100 evacuees from Hurricane Ike are showing up in central Oklahoma. But these evacuees need some special attention, because they're young and wild.

Hurricane Ike didn't displace just people. Some of Ike's smallest victims are spending time in Oklahoma as they recover. More than 100 grey squirrels have arrived at the WildCare Animal Shelter near Noble. They will spend a few months getting medical attention there before returning to Texas.

WildCare Oklahoma Animal Shelter workers spent the day filling cages with food for the displaced squirrels.

"We're supposed to be getting 144 more squirrels in from Texas that were involved in the Ike Hurricane," Rondi Large, WildCare Owner, said.

The Houston SPCA ended up with some 1,200 young squirrels after the hurricane hit. Volunteers brought them in. They are too young to care for themselves, and there are too many of them for the Houston center to care for properly.

The Noble center already has about 50 young squirrels. WildCare worker Michael Knight has to feed them every day.

"When they first came in they were kind of hesitant, and that's usually because of trauma of some type of just shock of being in a different place," Knight said. "After about a day or so, they start eating like this little guy."

WildCare will keep about 60 of the soon-to-arrive 144 squirrels, and the rest will go to other animal shelters in the metro. The squirrels will be cared for and in about a month or so will be strong enough to survive on their own. They won't be released into the wild in Oklahoma because of existing wildlife regulations in the differing states. WildCare will take the squirrels back to Texas for release there.