Photos by Barry Wallace
Thanks to Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge
Our cat Jaime led Linda into the backyard on Saturday and showed her this small creature, pictured above, beneath a huge maple tree. The baby Black Squirrel had fallen from the tree and was unable to climb back. No other squirrel was around, so he stumbled along after us and clambered onto our shoes and tried to pull himself up pant legs - but failed. What to do? What to do? We looked at him closely, cuddled him and gave him some bird seed which he promptly gobbled down. He seemed eager to join us in our yard work but it was apparent he was too vulnerable, if not to our tethered cat, then to someone else's roaming cat, or to the nearby Cooper's Hawk, or God knows what. Linda got on the internet and immediately found a place called SHADES OF HOPE WILDLIFE REFUGE located in the big wild wetlands south of Pefferlaw and Lake Simcoe, in the regional municipality of Georgina. An hour later, we were at Shades of Hope's refuge and handing over our foundling to some wonderful folks who couldn't have been more receptive. Shades of Hope is a registered charity that is totally dependent on donations from generous supporters. It is an impressive, first-class operation that has been operating for three years and serves a huge trading area across southern Ontario. We made a small donation to the cause and returned to King City feeling totally reassured about the little fellow's future. When he is older, he will be released on the Seneca College grounds where one of the Shades of Hope workers is studying. Shades of Hope always returns animals for release into the area in which they originated. Oh, by the way, our little lost lad was one of 10 squirrels Shades of Hope had received on Saturday, which was a typical intake of baby squirrels, at this time of year.
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