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Luba Werchola, of the staff of Techworx in South Campus Hall, had an experience on the way home from work Friday afternoon that she's happy to share:
The engine lights started lighting up on the dashboard. When I got home I heard noises coming from the engine. Horrible thoughts of mangled animals went through my head when I opened the hood, but I couldn't see anything. As the engine cooled down, a small furry head poked up from the far left of my engine, right over the wheel well.
From the scrabbling noises, we thought there would be more than one in there. They didn't seem to be able to get out on their own, but after two hours and some dismantling, we finally pulled out four baby squirrels. The mother had chewed through sensor wires in the engine, hence the warning lights, but was not in the car with the babies.
The babies were taken to a wildlife rehabilitator (Vickie) who specializes in squirrels. She estimates that these guys are about seven weeks old and definitely not able to survive on their own -- they still needed their mother's milk. They were extremely undersized and very stressed.
Interestingly, Vickie had gotten a phone call from the university earlier about a nest of squirrels in a shed that needed to be moved. She suggested that they open the doors and the mother would relocate them. Well, she did relocate them -- right into my car! Vickie said it would have taken the mother all day to move the babies into my car.
They are doing well now and will be hand raised for the next few weeks before being released again. Happy ending -- for them, anyway, but my car is still being repaired.
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