Dougal is a blind raven, one of the animal educational ambassadors at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre.

Island wildlife: Animals find home away from home in Errington

Visit the Island centre to see how you can help local wildlife

Wildlife comes to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in many different ways – from a tiny hummingbird in a shoebox to a black bear cub carried in by a Conservation Officer – but no matter how they arrive, it’s people who make it happen – people who care about wildlife.

Those same caring individuals have also made it possible for the world-class centre to grow over the last 30 years, expanding its mission to care for ill, injured or orphaned wildlife, notes Sylvia Campbell, co-founder of NIWRA with husband Robin.

“These animals have made us who we are. Dedicated staff, volunteers and international interns can work around the clock to give these animals the best care possible,” Sylvia says.

Over 750 animals a year come through the Errington site, just outside Parksville. Some may have been hit by a car, others have collided with windows, and still others have been orphaned. Every day, the NIWRA team works to rehabilitate those that can be re-released to the wild and provide a home to those that can’t.

Meet two animal educational ambassadors

While 70 per cent of animals are released, non-releasable animals become ambassadors to educate and inspire the public who visit the centre for self-guided tours and special events.

Animals like Dougal, a smart and inquisitive raven who, because he was blind, was abandoned by the other ravens. Otherwise healthy when he was brought to NIWRA, Dougal was hand-trained and has become a popular animal education ambassador to teach thousands of visitors about Island wildlife.

Dougal was recently joined by wing-mate Casey, a young bald eagle who badly broke his wing falling from his nest. Found on the ground and brought to the centre, staff and volunteers worked hard to save the wing so he’ll maintain his balance, Sylvia says.

‘They depend on us; we depend on you’

The public is critical to the centre’s ability to care for local wildlife.

Did you know that on average, it costs $40 per day to meet the needs of each bear that arrives at the centre – up to 22 in one season. Because NIWRA receives no government funding, they rely entirely on your donations.

Through bequests, animal “adoptions,” direct donations or monthly contributions, individuals have supported both daily animal care and expansion of facilities like the bear rehabilitation enclosure and the eagle flight centre – the largest of its kind in Canada! Donors can also direct where they’d like their funds to go.

“People really appreciate knowing their donations are going to such a wonderful cause, and we have many ways of helping,” Sylvia says. “They depend on us; we depend on you,”

To see first-hand the work undertaken at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, visit from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1240 Leffler Rd., Errington.

Click here to learn about how you can contribute; learn more at niwra.org or call 250-248-8534.

 

Casey is a non-releasable juvenile bald eagle, one of NIWRA’s animal educational ambassadors that educate and inspire people who visit the centre.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Coins converted to Christmas toys

Coins for Kids raising cash for Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, Boys and Girls Clubs

Nanaimo mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Lantzville, Snaw-Naw-As asking for lower speed limit on Island Highway

Safety concerns cited by municipal council and band council

UPDATED: Transportation Safety Board finishes work at plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Workers at auto dealerships in Nanaimo and Victoria set up picket lines

Sixty GAIN Group detailers, technicians, service advisors went on strike Friday

VIDEO: These are the top toys this Christmas, B.C. toy experts say

Consider the play value of a game, staff at Toy Traders say

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Beefs & Bouquets, Dec. 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Students coming up with signature VIU chocolate

Blind taste testing this week part of chocolate recipe competition

UPDATE: VIU student dies, another injured in car crash on Nanaimo Lakes Road

Students part of Vancouver Island University’s automotive program

Most Read