Backyard Wildlife Rescue

Just a day after a post highlighting the Wildlife Center of Venice where we do volunteer work, I got a call from Brooks, next door, that we had a squirrel down. Apparently a neighbors free roaming 'outside' cat had a successful hunt, but abandoned the cute little rodent for more domesticated eats.

Brooks and 'Rocky'

Brooks said he was still alive, but not 'entirely mobile'. I told him I'd be right over with a square-edged shovel. This handy tool has been efficient, on a few occasions, for the quick guillotine-like dispatch and handy disposal of smaller compromised wildlife in our backyards, over the years. The old circle of life, and a quick end to the suffering, as provided by The Home Depot.

After arriving on scene, and just as I was about to bring down the death, the little guy started to make a move for it. We gave him a few minutes reprieve, during which, he managed to convince us he still had some fight left. Despite a front left leg with obvious stability issues, he was pretty scrappy so we called the Wildlife Center of Venice and talked with Kevin Barton, who said to bring 'em on in.

One Lucky Damn Squirrel

So we caged 'em up and Brooks and Clay left to make a drop off at the wild animal ER. We'll follow up to check on Rocky's fate. If he pulled through, we likely bring him back for reintroduction on his home turf.

We're fortunate to call this home because Rocky the squirrel is one small link in an abundant and long food chain thriving, literally, in our back yard. Aquatically, we've got everything from bass to bull sharks, tarpon, snook, manatee, dolphin, American alligators AND crocodiles. On dry land and in the air, there are eagles, osprey, owls, gopher tortoises, plenty of snakes including eastern diamondback rattlers and water moccasins. This past Thanksgiving, we worked hard to capture a bobcat on video, but it was perfectly elusive when the cameras came out. Anyway, it's an unexaggerated paradise -- a perfect cross-section of Florida's wild bio-diversity. As the kids would say these days, it kicks ass.

We don't take it for granted, and have enjoyed it tremendously over the years. Where we live is a big part of who we are. Aside from all the recreating we take advantage of, we've also performed many rescue, rehab and reintroductions right outside our back doors. We're putting a segment of all that together for the 'Adventure & Wildlife' series. Hell, we might as well start a blog category, while we're at it. Too much cool stuff to do in one post, but just outside, we've taken tarpon DNA samples, documented satellite-tagged manatees, rescued entangled gators ... Like I said, we're fortunate to live where we do, and as long as we're here, we'll make the most of it. Thanks for tuning in and Happy Holidays.

My Cribbage

Brooks' Place Next Door ... Look Close, It's in There

The Shark Bro Compound

And Mom & Dad's Place Just Down the Canal