A pair of birds set free mark the month the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre celebrates its silver anniversary.
On Aug. 5, 1997 an oriole became the first of more than 50,000 wild animals admitted to the Metchosin facility. Other patients that month included wrens, gulls, American robins, Canada geese and crows. Wild ARC is the only wildlife rehabilitation centre on southern Vancouver Island and treated 3,128 animals last year.
This month volunteers enjoyed at least two bird releases, shared on social media.
A barn owl arrived in June at the rehab centre and healed enough to be released earlier this month. Donors raised more than $2,000 to support the animal.
After getting trapped and needing to be rescued, a gull spent a few days in care while it recovered from some minor wounds. It was also released this month.
A pair of finch chicks remain in care after they were found alone on the ground beside their deceased sibling. When they arrived at Wild ARC, they were bruised and cold, but otherwise alert.
With no nest or parents for reunification, and damage done by a long fall, rehabilitators worried about internal trauma. Close monitoring of the bruising and behaviour, pain and anti-inflammatory medications, as well as a specialized diet plan were put in place to give the frail babies the best chance at recovery.
Slowly, the bruises are healing and their feathers have started to grow in. While they’ve doubled in size and weight since they came into care at only a few days old, they still have several weeks to go before they’ll be big and strong enough to go home to the wild, the organization said.
Like the owl before them, the pair have a medical emergency fund. Visit spca.bc.ca/locations/wild-arc to donate, volunteer or learn more.
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