Orphaned squirrels get new home

Sept. 22, 2011 at 12:35 AM

ULGHAM, England, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Four baby red squirrels, separated from their mother when Hurricane Katia struck northern England, are being raised at an animal sanctuary.

The squirrels' nest was probably blown from a tree during the storm that hit the British Isles in early September, the Sanctuary Wildlife Care Center said. A passerby found them and took the kittens, as baby squirrels are known, to a veterinarian who sent them on to the center in Ulgham near Morpeth.

"If the animals had not been found they would have died within hours, attacked by most likely cats," the center said.

By the time it hit Britain and Ireland, Katia was a post-tropical storm. But it still packed a punch, with wind gusts of 80 mph, heavy rain and storm surges.

The center said the squirrels will be released in the spring. In the meantime, they are being bottle-fed every 2 1/2 to 3 hours all day by a volunteer who said she gives them the last bottle at 11 p.m.

"Then I'm up again at 6 a.m. to start all over again," Eileen Welsh told the BBC.

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