For the past few years the first seal pup of the year has arrived for care in late June or early July. But this year we got an early surprise when the first pup came to us on June 9th. The pup came from Squalicum Harbor where he had been seen sucking on boat hulls for a couple of days and had been repeatedly moved around by people. Whatcom County Marine Mammal Stranding Network picked up the pup and sent him to Wolf Hollow for care. He is currently living in a tub in our nursery area, but is enjoying short swims in a pool each day.
Some years we don’t get any River Otter kits for care. This summer we have five. They came from different places and under different circumstances, but are now a family and do everything together. They sleep in a pile in their den, have fun spreading fish bits and formula everywhere and are learning to swim. Soon they will be ready to move into our outdoor pool pen where they can get up to even more mischief.
This Western Painted Turtle had been run over by a car and had a crack in the back edge of its shell. Luckily there was no other damage, so we were able to thoroughly clean the crack and very carefully apply a fiberglass tape and epoxy resin patch. This seals out water and bacteria and holds the shell edges in place till they grow back together – VERY SLOWLY! We kept the turtle for a few more days to ensure that the patch was working and the turtle could swim and dive effectively, then released it in a local marsh. Once the crack has healed, the turtle’s shell will continue to grow and at some point, the patch will pop off.
Aren’t they cute?
It’s springtime at Wolf Hollow, which means it is also baby season. It is this time of year that we receive the most orphaned wildlife. Most of the babies we get in for care are orphans because of human activity. Here are a few of the causes and some tips on how you can help prevent them:
Cars – large numbers of wild animals are hit by cars and there’s always a possibility of young ones being left behind. Please drive slowly and carefully, especially at night or in wooded areas.
Cats & Dogs – most cats are backyard hunters and most dogs love to chase. Your pets can injure or kill wild animals, sometimes leaving behind a nest of babies to fend for themselves. Please don’t allow your pets to run loose, especially during baby season.
Yard Work – although this time of the year is perfect for yard work, various yard and gardening projects can destroy nests or cause injury to wild animals. Please postpone projects until after the young have left the nest. Always keep an eye and ear out for nesting sites on your property. Have patience and enjoy the wildlife in your own backyard.
Too Close – Moving “just a bit closer” to get a better look may sound harmless, but wild animals often panic when people get too close and this can lead to injury or abandonment of youngsters. Please keep a reasonable distance.
Check out our “Living With Wildlife” section for more helpful hints.