During this past winter I watched several episodes of Hope for Wildlife, a TV series about a woman in Nova Scotia, Canada. She and her team of several volunteers take in wild birds and animals which have been injured and/or orphaned. This inspired me to the point of seeking a similar opportunity to volunteer in Alberta. And voila, I discovered WildNorth.
WildNorth (aka Northern Alberta Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation) accepts injured birds and small mammals to their hospital. Once the animal/bird is stable, it goes to the Rehabilitation Centre facilities for longer term rehabilitation (confined housing, flight pens, and pools. This takes the patients through the recovery process until release. The hospital and rehabilitation centre are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
WildNorth’s success is due to the passion of many dozen volunteers and medical intern experts. From keeping the office running smoothly, emergency line dispatchers, wildlife rescue personnel, and animal transport volunteers, even the tiniest animal receives the gold treatment.
On Friday, I was sent to pick up the smallest baby rabbit I’ve ever seen. Smaller than the size of my computer mouse. It was an hour drive to location, then back to Edmonton. Thankfully, my little patient was still alive and doing okay when I arrived at the hospital. It had been brought home by someone’s cat but surprisingly there were no obvious signs of serious trauma. Fingers crossed.
This new role is going to be both rewarding and challenging. It is risky, too. Not every patient survives. My heart may be broken a few times. But there is no greater feeling than knowing at the end of the day you’ve made a difference in someone’s life, including a baby rabbit’s life.
If you live in the area from Red Deer to northern Alberta, and come across an injured bird or animal, call WildNorth for instructions on what to do. 780-914-4118. Go to WildNorth’s website for ideas on how to assist the staff in providing medical and supportive care to hundreds of injured creatures. You can donate money or drop off supplies (wish list on the website).