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Hundreds of baby animals flood wildlife centers in wake of storm Hermine

Squirrels and racoons were knocked from trees by the storm, and wildlife officials said boxes of little critters were brought in by concerned residents

Hundreds of animals, including baby squirrels and raccoons, are being tended to in wildlife centers in the wake of Hurricane Hermines destructive journey along the east coast.

Many animals were shaken from trees during the hurricane, which hit Florida before weakening to a tropical storm as it moved northward to Virginia and New Jersey over Labor Day weekend.

St Francis Wildlife in Quincy, Florida, reported more than 260 squirrel patients, many of them orphaned, after high winds knocked them from trees. The wildlife center, which also received a red-shouldered hawk and several woodpeckers among other birds, was left without power for several days and had to run off a generator. More than 50 baby squirrels remain in its care.

It was overwhelming how many people was willing to help us to feed the babies, to bring food, to buy formula, said Teresa Stevenson, the centers director. They were buying heating pads, they were sending us stuff in the mail. It was overwhelming and not just from Florida, from all the country. It was amazing.

Further south in Tampa Bay, Wildlife Inc said it had been inundated with calls, with people reporting birds with broken bones. Another bird was found dangling off a pier with a fishing hook embedded in its back.

Hundreds more baby squirrels were rescued by shelters in Virginia, according to the Washington Post. Many infant animals were blown from nests, some as high as 40ft, and found under leaves. Raccoons and rabbits were also brought in for treatment.

I was like a drug dealer, said Evelyn Flengas, who runs a wildlife refuge in the Virginia Beach area and took in more than 50 flying squirrels. There was a steady stream of cars coming down the driveway with boxes filled with little critters.

Flengass shelter posted pictures of the baby flying squirrels on its Facebook page, noting many Virginians had no idea the animals lived near them.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/14/baby-animals-rescued-wildlife-centers-hermine-hurricane