Less than 48 hours after opening, the first true patient arrived at the San Diego Wildlife Center (SDWC), operated by the Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS). A three-week-old baby Merriam’s Chipmunk arrived early on April 4 at the Wildlife Center at 2380 Camino Vida Roble in Carlsbad.
SDWC Director Trish Jackman says, “The chipmunk was found on the sidewalk of our nearby rescue partners at the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services (DAS). They were able to pick it up and bring it to us. Other than being thirsty, it seems to be in good condition.”
When the baby chipmunk arrived it had an initial examination to check for injuries or illness. After that SDWC staff members offered it food and water. According to Jackman, it didn’t have any interest in the food.
“That’s probably because it hasn’t started eating solid food, yet,” she said. “When we offered it the water, the chipmunk held on to the syringe with its feet and drank. We’ll be switching it over and giving it formula.”
With one baby chipmunk, there could possibly be more. The staff at DAS is searching the area to see if there are more babies, a nest, or a mother looking for her stray baby. If they can find the nest, they will try to reunite the baby with its mother and siblings.
Jackman says that, if the baby can’t be put back with its family, the chipmunk will eventually be released back into the wild.
“This is wildlife,” she said. “It’s not a pet. We will handle it as little as possible. While it’s here it will get the medical care and attention it needs, but our goal is to make sure it’s able to survive in its natural environment.”
SDWC accepts any wildlife in need. Treatment will take place on-site or some animals will be transferred to rescue partners for further care.
“We’re also working to educate the public about the care and safety of the wildlife in their neighborhoods,” Jackman said. “This is ‘baby season’ and we’ll be getting lots of questions.”
For more information about SDWC, to make a donation, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, log on to www.sdwildlife.org, call 760-621-6888, and “Like” SDWildlifecenter on Facebook.
— Submitted news release