MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - As temperatures get cooler, the survival rate of baby animals abandoned or orphaned in north Alabama goes down.
But, there's a team of volunteers who take care of such babies and are trying to acquire first-of-its-kind equipment to save more wildlife.
Janet Stratman is a member of North Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitators (NAWR) and is leading the effort. She spoke to WHNT NEWS 19, while feeding three of 12 baby squirrels she is caring for right now.
"They came from somebody who found them in their yard after a big storm," said Stratman of the tiny squirrels.
She believes the three she was holding and feeding are six weeks old and almost ready to open their eyes. But, she insists they are not old enough to maintain their own body temperature.
"If they get too cold, there's a chance they'll die," said Stratman. "We always keep them on a heating pad, but they can crawl off the heating pad. And if we don't notice it and two hours go by, we'll lose that baby."
It would be the first and only one to be shared among rehabbers in north Alabama to help all kinds of baby animals the public finds and brings to them year round.
"Believe it or not, we had 60 calls from people who had found an infant baby and asked us 'will you help us?' Stratman recalled of one recent day in particular.
The animals brought to them include baby squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, mice, and raccoons.
NAWR is trying to raise $450, the local match for an incubator. BabyWarm.org and the manufacturer would supplement the rest.
If NAWR group raises more than $450, it would mean money towards a second incubator for nurturing baby animals to independence, then returning them to the wild.
BabyWarm.org was started earlier this year by a woman who lives in California and wanted to make sure wildlife rehabbers across the country have the equipment they need to save lives.
If you would like to help, please click here to make a donation via PayPal. All donations are tax deductible.