Earlier this week, a bald eagle was rescued from a car grille near Jacksonville, Florida, after being blown by the savage winds of Hurricane Matthew. And Monday, an animal rescue center in Orlando announced that it had taken in more than a hundred animals—many of them babies—injured in the tempest.
Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge has “seen a major influx of injured and displaced wildlife these last few days because of hurricane Matthew,” the group writes on its Facebook page.
The post says many baby squirrels are being treated, as well as raccoons, rabbits, and birds.
When a local TV station visited the center, they found baby animals kept in boxes, covered with blankets, awaiting treatment, or resting. The youngest animals require feeding around the clock.
One baby squirrel had been blown out of a tree. Local people kept it warm on the way to the shelter, where they dropped it off. (See how Hurricane Matthew's storm surges may represent the new normal.)
The refuge, which also recently built a new building, is straining under the work and expense needed to care for the animals, its leaders told TV station KIRO-7.
“You can help!” the refuge wrote on its Facebook page. “Right now we are in need of t-shirts, baby blankets, fleece or light blankets, towels, wheat bread, unsalted assorted nuts, canned cat and dog food."
The group is also asking for cash donations.
Florida largely dodged the worst of Hurricane Matthew, which could have caused even more death and loss of property. As it stands, the storm’s human death toll has exceeded one thousand, with most deaths recorded in the Caribbean, especially Haiti. At least 32 people have been reported killed in the U.S.
And about that eagle stuck in the car grille? It was removed by Clay County Sheriff’s officers, who took it to another rescue center, B.E.A.K.S. -- Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Santuary.
The driver of the car that had trapped the eagle hadn’t been aware of the bird until the good Samaritan pointed it out (having first thought it was a prop, until it moved).
The eagle, a seven-year-old male, did not sustain serious injuries and is reportedly recovering well from the ordeal.