By Pam Fernald
Special to the SeaTac Blog
As SeaTac Deputy Mayor, I recently attended the Jet Motel demolition along with fellow Councilmembers and took a whack at a pillar with the sledgehammer – and I saved a “souvenir” brick.
The Jet Motel at 17300 international Blvd. (map below) has been in SeaTac a long time.
My personal part of the story is that as the demo began, a scared mama squirrel darted out of the building where she had been residing with her six babies in a warm nest.
Work stopped right away and one of the crew scooped up the six babies and their bedding and put them in a shallow box under the work trailer so that if mama decided to come back, she would be able to find her babies.
Have you ever heard baby squirrels crying? They are very loud, so we figured mama would find her babies if she were able to come back.
At that point, I called a wildlife rescue service that gave me advice on what to do – I monitored the babies all afternoon.
The second time I went back, Mark, the construction group president and I moved the babies closer to where the work crew thought they had seen the mama squirrel head. We built a lean-to – it was pouring down rain – tucked them all in and then, as the rescue people said, waited to see if the mama would come back.
By 5:30, no mama.
My daughter had put together a nesting box with jars of hot water and we scooped up the babies and their original bedding, arranged them in the ‘incubator’ and took them to the wildlife rescue in Kent. One of the babies was very stiff and we thought he might be a goner already, but my daughter kept him under her sweater on the trip to the rescue and by the time we arrived, we had six wiggly little babies again.
Rescue volunteers figure the babies are about three weeks old – their eyes were still closed. Right away they were weighed, measured and given an IV to hydrate them.
They will be kept until they are three months and then released back in SeaTac. They usually release critters back in the area where they were found, but in this case that is not feasible because of the demolition and construction.
I discussed this with rescue staff and my plan is to have them released in North SeaTac Park and then let nature take its course. I’ll post again when I know when the release will occur.
Oh yes, I left them a very robust contribution to ensure that our SeaTac six squatters get as much good care as possible. As many of us already know, animal rescuers are not ‘rich.’