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Campbell River tourism operators, photographer raise $2,000 for wildlife rescue

Funds going to MARS Wildlife Rescue, OWL Rehabilitation
Photographer Liron Gertsman helped raised funding for two wildlife rescue organizations. Photo courtesy Campbell River Whale Watching

Local wildlife rescue efforts are going to benefit from $2,000 raised by Campbell River Whale Watching and photographer Liron Gertsman.

Gertsman and Campbell River Whale Watching joined forces for the 2023 season to host a five-day photography workshop that celebrated coastal wildlife and bald eagles. The workshop was popular, and a portion of the proceeds were set aside to go towards local wildlife rescue.

On April 22, Gertsman and Campbell River Whale Watching owners Stephen Gabyrsh and Tyler Bruce announced they would donate the $2,000 to the MARS Rescue Centre in Black Creek and OWL (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society) Rehabilitation in Delta.

Stephen Gabyrsh, co-owner of Campbell River Whale Watching, said that “our partnership with Liron Gertsman Photography not only provided an unparalleled photography experience but also enabled us to give back to the local wildlife community. We are deeply grateful to all participants for their enthusiastic support and to MARS and OWL for their tireless dedication to conservation.”

“Responsible and sustainable wildlife ecotourism is incredibly important, and there is a long list of components that go into making that goal a success” Gertsman said. “By immersing people into nature and having respectful encounters with wildlife, we hope to bring an additional in-the-field educational component to our photography workshops, by allowing people to experience first-hand the beauty, inter-connectivity and importance of our local ecosystem. We also want to utilize that opportunity to support local organizations who are making a difference for the wildlife that we enjoy observing and learning about in the wild. As a direct result of these trips, we are able to donate to such organizations as OWL and MARS.”

“We are very grateful to Campbell River Adventure Tours Group for this generous donation and their ongoing support of our work,” a statement from MARS Wildlife Rescue says.

MARS Wildlife Rescue helps ill, injured and orphaned wildlife recover and return home to the wild to live out their lives.

“We care for about 1,000 native species every year ranging from tiny baby hummingbirds and other baby birds to reptiles, fawns, other mammals, waterfowl and majestic bald eagles.”

OWL specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors from all over the province. They take care of over 700 birds every year.

For further information on how to support MARS Wildlife Rescue and OWL Rehabilitation, please visit their respective websites at and

Campbell River Whale Watching owners Tyler Bruce and Stephen Gabrysh. Photo courtesy Campbell River Whale Watching
A juvenile bald eagle photographed during one of the workshops. Photo courtesy Campbell River Whale Watching