An entire genre of movies has recently emerged, showing wild animals acting in human-like ways, sometimes in Happy Feet-style fantasies. A common theme among them is the connection between humans and the animals. The wildness of the animals is almost always conquered by the goodness of people.
The best term for this sentiment is hubris.
|One of several variegated squirrels taken from the pet trade and brought to Estacion Biologica Laguna de Apoyo to transition back to the wild. Photo Andras Dorgai.|
Purchasing wild animals as pets presents a terrible threat to the populations of animals in the wild. Captures of wild animals for use as pets have decimated the populations of animals such as Scarlet Macaw and the white-faced capuchin monkey in almost all areas throughout the country.
|Once wild animals have been made into pets, they may face a difficult transition back into the wild. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.|
|Juvenile squirrels sleep as much as twenty hours per day, in confined spaces in nests, which can be imitated by a bundle of cloths. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.|
|Squirrels adapted to humans may even prefer to climb on them over scaling trees. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.|
Little by little, squirrels can be reacquainted with their natural habitats. This species of squirrel rarely comes to the ground, finding plenty of bark, small insects and other fauna, fruits and nuts, year-round, high in trees. By coming and going from the security of a well-equipped cage, with a door open, the squirrels can choose to sleep, play, feed, and so on, all through the day. Juvenile squirrels can develop their interest in these foods and habitats little by little, until they may lose their interest in humans entirely.
|Whenever safe to do so, juvenile squirrels are allowed to enter and leave their cage at will, so they can get exercise, explore, and socialize with wild squirrels nearby. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.|
|Squirrels quickly learn whose hand does the feeding. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.|
Sometimes, a wild animal is successfully reintroduced into the wild. Squirrels will sometimes survive, and their wild character may return, and they may reintegrate into the community of squirrels in the area. When this happens we are always grateful for all the efforts of so many people who participated in bringing food, spending time to provide care, clean cages, and even provide logistics. Each successful reintroduction into the wild results as the culmination of the efforts of many people.
|These squirrels are beginning to learn to spend their days foraging in trees. They are still returning each night to sleep in their cage. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.|
Would you like to help us rescue and rehabilitate wild animals in Nicaragua? Please contact us to find out how you can help by donating food, a cage, or by giving your time as a volunteer.
|Click on the "escudo" to contact us.|