In the back of the Honda, Chipmonk #1344 was contentedly feasting on a low-carb protein bar.
When Dixie arrived, she contacted WildCare, a wildlife rehabilitation center based in San Rafael. WildCare investigation determined that Chipmonk #1344 was male, healthy, chowing down in preparation for hibernation, and needed to get home … somehow.
Enter pilot Ray Romano.
Ray offered to fly Chipmonk #1344 back to Utah, accompanied by WildCare board member Jan Wild — that girl is just wild! — and off they soared in Ray’s light aircraft. High winds and Utah turbulence tossed the aircraft, creating a sense of excitement and adventure, and blew them into Arizona, where Ray and Jan and Chipmonk #1344 spent the night; and the next day the aircraft touched down near Canyonlands National Park.
By this time, a media circus had assembled. There, amid flashbulbs adequate to document the voyages of Mick Jagger, Chipmonk #1344 was picked up by a chauffer from the National Park Service.
Chipmonk #1344 found his 1400-trip quite fun, and he especially liked the protein bar. But now he’s returned to his burrow in his own tree, and sends his warmest regards to all his new friends and acquaintences.
But after all, winter is a-coming. Time to settle down.