Salthaven West wildlife rehab centre, a local wildlife rescue service is calling for public support as continues to care for a growing number of injured animals from a 600-square-foot clinic in Regina.
The centre says it is seeing a rise in the number of sick and injured wildlife that need rehabilitation from across southern Saskatchewan.
Community engagement manager Angela Tremka says they launched a campaign to raise funds in November and are hoping to see their totals grow through 2023.
Tremka said a lot of their patients are victims of window collisions, cat attacks, vehicle collisions and habitat destruction. She said that over the last year, they’ve admitted wildlife patients from at least 90 cities, towns and villages all across southern Saskatchewan.
Tremka said the current clinic can no longer manage the number of patients in need of treatment.
“Right now, as I’m doing this interview, I’m actually working on our exam table that that doubles as our office desk,” Tremka said.
“We’re looking for a facility that has more space, that’s equipped with isolation and ICU rooms, large outdoor space with lots of trees and shrubs and upgraded oil wash station, space for food storage and office space.”
“We’ve gone from admitting a few hundred patients every year to now over 1,500 birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles that that all need help, all while operating out of a 600-square-foot clinic.”
The patients they see include birds large and small, from a ruby-throated hummingbird all the way to an American white pelican. Right now they have around 80 patients in care.
In order to prevent bird injuries in the first place, Tremka encourages the use of a product called “feather-friendly window tape,” which basically looks like dots that people can apply to their windows.
“It’s very affordable and accessible and the birds actually are able to see these dots, even though it doesn’t really impair our view. It stops window strikes from happening by nearly 100 per cent. It’s super effective.”
Window strikes are not the only threat to birds though. She said in Canada, “100 million birds … die every year due to cat attacks and that’s a number that I can’t even fathom.”
She suggested keeping cats indoors, or using catios, cat backpack or a harness with a leash if you let them go out.
“Not only does that help protect wildlife, but it also helps protect your pet from getting lost or getting hit by a vehicle or eating something that it shouldn’t.”
Anyone needing help with wildlife can contact Salthaven directly and they will walk them through the process of how to safely contain the animal and bring it to the facility.
Donations to the fundraiser can be made on their website.
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