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A center treats injured wild animals

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Dec26,2023

Un center treats injured wild animals

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Sam Webb, Wild ARC center manager, left, accompanied by volunteers and employees of the center.

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The Wild Animal Rehabilitation Center ( Wild ARC), located on southern Vancouver Island, takes in injured animals for treatment. More and more of them are frequenting the organization, particularly because of urbanization, which encourages interactions between humans and wild animals.

Nestled in the Metchosin forest, about twenty kilometers from Victoria, the Wild ARC has the feel of a hospital. All you have to do is see the room through which the animals pass when they arrive. It’s a place I like to call “the magic room,” because that’s where everything happens,” says Sam Webb, manager of the center, which opened in 1996, with a smile.

In the room, there are small operating tables, drawers of all kinds in which instruments are stored which are used to treat the approximately 3,000 animals passing through the center each year. When the animal arrives at the center, it comes through here for a head-to-toe examination, says Sam Webb.

From raccoons, beavers and even eagles to birds, the center cares for around a hundred different species of animals, says the manager. Except bears, cougars and wolves, she specifies.

Most of the time, it is residents who call the center to report the presence of an injured animal. It is better to call us before touching the animal or wanting to bring it to us, advises Sam Webb. Sometimes the animal may just be stunned or stunned, or it may be waiting for its mother to come pick it up.

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At the center, the animals are taken care of by Wild ARC employees as well as volunteers, of whom there are around ten during the summer season. High season is summer. Our needs are much greater and we are tripling our numbers, says Sam Webb.

Some injured animals only stay for a few days, time to get back to health . Others will receive care for several months. Eventually, between 30 and 40 percent of the residents will recover from their injuries and be released back into the wild. This is usually done where they were found, says Sam Webb.

The center covers the extreme southeast of Vancouver Island. There are other structures, such as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), that cover other areas of the province, but the Wild ARC is the only one in British Columbia that specializes in rehabilitation and rehabilitation of wild animals.

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The center is home to around a hundred different species of animals.

It must be said that, on the island, and particularly in Greater Victoria, nature and cities coexist. Rampant urbanization is gradually eating away at the animals’ territory, explains Sam Webb. The result is more and more interactions between wildlife and humans, for better or for worse.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, the center welcomed a significant number of residents. People spent more time in nature. It was therefore more common for injured animals to be found and brought to the center, emphasizes Sam Webb. cohabitation with humans. Incidents between birds and pets, such as cats and dogs, are common. This is the case during periods of migration, or when birds venture outside their nest, but cannot yet fly to escape predators, explains the Wild ARC manager.

Bird collisions against windows are also common. The more buildings or houses we build, the greater the risk of this happening. Same thing for terraces, more and more numerous, under which raccoons can get stuck and injured.

Consequently, the number of their residents is generally increasing. However, for the moment, the center does not plan to expand. We are a non-profit structure, financed mainly through donations from individuals, argues Sam Webb.

Our means are quite limited, and we rather, we want to prioritize the best possible welcome for our residents. We would like to create ponds for otters, beavers or raccoons in order to recreate their natural environment as best as possible, which then facilitates their reintegration.

Sam Webb believes that other centers like this could open in the future in the province, especially as interactions between humans and wild animals are likely to continue to increase.< /p>

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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