Monday, 4 June 2012

Red Squirrels

 

Once again our squirrels have bred successfully this year. We now have several litters of kittens that will be ready to move on to there new homes in a couple of months time, and even a couple of mothers who are about to give birth to their second litters of 2012. 

Therefore we have had to move the 2 oldest litters of kittens into the holding pens in our walk-through enclosure. It is likely that these squirrels will not stay in there, but will be moved on loan to other wildlife centres in the south, but the holding pens will provide them with a good temporary home until that time arrives.

Once they have been moved on, these two spare pens will then be used as a halfway home to introduce a few more squirrels out in to the Copse. We have a couple of old breeding pairs which have not produced this year, possibly due to their age, and so I think it will be nice to allow them to retire out in our walk-through enclosure. This will then free up there breeding pens for two new and young pairs to be set up, ready for next year and hopefully some more kittens.



We currently have around a dozen squirrel in the walk-through enclosure, to which we think we can probably add another half dozen... this will leave them at a comfortable number while still giving space for if they breed in there next year.

Of the dozen or so already out there, about 8 of them are very friendly, and do not shy away from people when they are wandering through.

One of the most common things I am asked when doing the talk, is can I recognise each individual one?... And yes, I am sad to say that we can, and they even all have names. For those of you that have asked here are their names:

Anthony
Cyril
Rupert
Nutkin
Nutmeg
Rufus
Rusty
Russell

So that's 6 males and 2 females. One of the females, "Nutkin", is even rivalling our friendliest squirrel "Anthony" for most appearances and naughtiest behaviour... climbing into peoples bags, and always on the look out for a nut... and let me tell you, there are plenty of nuts about when we are open!

Some of the lesser seen ones are recognisable, but we will only name them as they become a more frequent visitor to the talks.

Keep your eyes open for Anthony and the gang next time you are here... best times to see them are around the talk at 10.30am and again nearer the end of the day.

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