Woman feeds an orphaned vole with a syringe

The Vole It’s true that we serve bears, wolves, and other large, dramatic animals that capture our imagination. But from an ethical perspective, Life is owed a deep respect regardless of size because anything with the breath of life is an absolute miracle. Even from a practical perspective, size doesn’t matter. For example, without the millions of tiny teeming bacterial and fungal life forms found in a single teaspoon of fertile earth, we wouldn’t have Life as we know it. Burrowing through this fertile soil are still more life forms, busily living their lives and contributing their own qualities to the overall web of life. In this case, I am writing about a baby vole. A very kind...

Woman holding a baby rabbit

On June 27th, a weeks-old baby mountain cottontail was hit by a car on a road in Rexburg, Idaho, and badly injured. A caring young woman saw him, picked him up, and called Earthfire. Hearing of the extent of his injuries, we recommended that she take him to our local vet immediately for medical care. We told her Earthfire would pay the bills and we would retrieve and care for him when the vet felt he was ready. Upon examination the vet gave him a 50% chance of survival, and after treating him for shock, essentially put him into rabbit ICU for a month. He had a damaged jaw, a damaged eye, and his hind legs and hips were “degloved” (skinned) with bone showing. Undaunted, rather than...

Fox kits sleeping together in a metal culvert

Five orphaned fox kits arrived in April for recovery and rehabilitation, their mother killed by a dog. When discovered, they were hungry and dehydrated. They’re now thriving and rambunctious in their covered enclosure with an outdoor play area. We’ve placed logs, large stones, sandboxes and wide-mouth tubes in their garden. When they show the ability to forage and hunt adequately, they’ll be released back into the forest from whence they came, sometime in early August.

Orphaned baby squirrel eating from an eye dropper

Mid March The towels in the shoe box gave a suspicious lurch. There is Life in there! Every day, they change. Ears a little perkier. Tails up across their backs. Three blind heads poking out from the edge of the box. I reach in to take one out for feeding and she gives a sudden, electric jerk as she feels my touch. Just one—but it’s the sign of a rapidly maturing nervous system, a harbinger of things to come. Before this, they had been helpless and passive. In a few weeks, their reflexes will be so quick it will be impossible to catch them or even track them with our eyes. End March Oh dear! Their eyes are opening and the box is moving a lot—sudden jerky little movements. I know...

Three orphaned squirrel babies snuggle in a towel

Dear Squirrel Momma, We have your three babies and they are doing well. You took such good care of them---all three were sleek and well fed. Together, they must weigh more than you! How did you keep them all fed and cleaned so well? You had to feed yourself and make enough milk for them---and during the winter. What an amazing feat. The first couple of days were a difficult adjustment for all of us, as they didn’t like the rubber nipple and we couldn’t get them to defecate after the change in diet, but it looks like that challenge is over. The milk formula we give them is no substitute for yours, made by your very body and taken into theirs in an exquisite continuity of Squirrelness...

Raccoons emerging from a crate

— by Dawn Harrison — The weather was perfect and the girls were ready, so we knew it was the right day for releasing our rehabilitation raccoons. We found the ideal spot with a small stream and ample natural food in a location where we can provide supplementation if they need it to thrive through their first winter. The girls, dubbed Big and Medium, were loaded into a crate for the short trip to their new home. Upon arriving, Big and Medium were very inquisitive yet reluctant. After all, they didn’t know exactly what was going on. They peeked out of the kennel, took a few steps out, and then went back in. When we took the top off, they finally got a good look at the welcoming meadow...

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