This baby flying squirrel is one of dozens of wild animals being taken care of at the Emeral Coast Wildlife Refuge in Navarre following Hurricane Sally. (Credit: Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge)

Florida wildlife refuge takes in 120 animals after hurricane

An animal refuge in the Florida Panhandle has taken in about 120 animals that were either injured or displaced by Hurricane Sally, which pummeled the area with wind and rain on Sept. 16.

There are opossums, raccoons, gray foxes, fawns, eastern ground squirrels and flying squirrels, Stormey Andersen, executive director of the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge in Navarre, told the Northwest Florida Daily News.

They’ve also seen lots of birds, including baby hummingbirds and fully grown pelicans,” Andersen said.

“One hundred and twenty in less than a week is crazy,” Andersen said. “Our one-day record before Hurricane Sally was 25 animals in one day. We had 45 the day after Hurricane Sally came through.”

The sudden influx of animals has stretched the refuge’s resources.

“The first day after Sally I think we ran through a month’s worth of personal protective gear,” Andersen said. “We ran through formula faster than I think we ever have.”

She said a 3- to 5-gallon bucket of baby animal formula costs about $220.

“All donations are welcome,” but she said they’re most in need of animal food including frozen beef, chicken and fish, yogurt, fresh or boiled eggs, and hard cheeses, as well as cleaning supplies.

Author: The Associated Press
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