SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Triple-digit temperatures over the weekend pushed some of the local wildlife to the brink, but they are now on the road to health again thanks to several nonprofits in the area. .
“We had three this weekend, dehydrated babies [and] left out,” said Chris Lay of the Wildlife Care Association. “Mom ran away or was killed.”
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Lay is a raccoon rehabilitator who raises raccoons out of her south Sacramento home and says the heat wave is hurting the animals. Drought and changes in irrigation practices mean animals struggle to find water once found in canals and swamps.
“Where they used to go, there is no water. So they end up going to people’s backyards where they’re going to get in trouble there,” Lay said.
They end up getting trapped in garages or falling into swimming pools, if they get that far.
Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue says the fawns are underdeveloped at nearly half their usual weight – with numbers under a week old up nearly 20 per cent.
This weekend, calls came in for all kinds of dehydrated animals: like an owl, a baby coyote and a possum that nearly died looking for water.
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Unfortunately, a falcon suffering from heat exhaustion did not survive.
Lay says it’s a labor of love to care for these baby raccoons without getting them used to it.
“But, remember, their teeth and nails are incredibly sharp. Just pick them up, if they freak out it’ll tear you apart,” Lay said.
The ultimate goal is to bring them back into the wild.
“It’s amazing when you take them out and let them go. Instinct takes over,” Lay said.
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Wildlife groups say the general public can help by leaving water for wildlife.