Helping Tortoises and Others

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There are more than tortoises at the San Diego Zoo’s Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Las Vegas!

While Research Associate Daniel Essary was working on site over the weekend, he found a baby ground squirrel that was too weak and dehydrated to run away from him. So he did what any other bunny hugger, or in this case squirrel hugger, would have done. He brought it to Research Associate Rachel Foster, who has nursed hundreds of squirrels, opossums, bunnies, and other furry little critters back to health over the past 20 years.

Rachel knew immediately that she could help the little guy who had likely been separated from his mom. She has been feeding him warm kitten formula for the past several days, and it’s certainly paying off. He’s much more alert and active, and Rachel thinks he’ll be ready to be released right here on site very soon. This facility may be a tortoise center at heart, but our tortoises live in a complex ecosystem, so we need to take care of everything that lives here, even if it’s cute and furry.

Paula Kahn is a conservation program manager for the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research. Read her previous post, Tortoises Recover from Illness, Injury.