These Portraits of Baby Animal Orphans Are Adorably Astounding
Science| | By Robin Milling
One of the biggest wildlife mysteries has been revealed – what the heck does a baby squirrel look like? Thanks to one photographer, now we know.
For her new book Wild Babies: Photographs of Baby Animals from Giraffes to Hummingbirds, Traer Scott captured critters of all sizes so we can bear witness to nature’s biggest kept secrets. The sad news is they’re all orphaned, which is why Scott had such incredible access to them sans their mothers’ protection.
It all began four years ago after the birth of Scott’s own baby girl. Attending a friend’s wedding was when she first documented a baby squirrel who had just fallen out of a tree. Her maternal instinct kicked in and Scott took the baby squirrel (known as a “kitten”) home, but quickly found raising two infants round the clock was too much.
Scott told American Photo that while researching veterinarians to care for the injured baby squirrel she discovered Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island, an organization dedicated to the care of injured and orphaned wildlife since 1994. Lo and behold, there was a list of rescuers on the site and one woman adopted orphaned squirrels.
After running the dying baby squirrel over to its savior, the idea to photograph babies in the wild was born.
Scott had experience shooting wild animals before; her book Nocturne captured them in their natural nightly habitat. But the timing of baby season, which is spring to late summer, was a challenge taking her over three years to compile more than 30 orphaned species. Not to mention the calm cautiousness she had to adopt when approaching them.
Scott’s husband designed a foam core black box with a hole cut out that she could stick a camera lens through which solved the problem. There the animals could relax, making it easier for Scott to take candid shots. As a result, her wild baby portraits as you can see here are astounding.