Let’s start with the screech, bless her heart. She remained feisty despite not eating, and I consulted my vets and colleague Kathryn Dudeck of Chattahoochee Nature Center as to further options. Because her weight wasn’t dropping rapidly, we set a baseline weight which, if she reached, would signal serious trouble. Since the weather was moderate for the middle of the week, she spent several days in the flight pen, still not eating and—not a good sign as far as vision—not moving from her low perch.
When a wild animal—any animal, to be honest—has no fight left, it’s time to call it. I euthanized her and upon examining her afterward saw that she’d trickled dark black blood from her beak, and it appeared to have come from the trachea. I’d already thrown out the possibility of cancer to Kathryn and of course, without a necropsy, we’ll never know for sure, but I’m leaning strongly toward cancer as the cause of her decline.
The male squirrel acquired a “sister” after this little girl’s nest was destroyed. She’s about a week to 10 days older than he is, as evidenced by her greater fur growth…such as it is right now!