Salthaven the West Wildlife rehabilitation Center, a local wildlife rescue service is calling for public support as it continues to care for a growing number of injured animals from a 600-square-foot clinic in Regina.
The center says it is seeing a rise in sick and injured wild animals in need of rehabilitation from across southern Saskatchewan.
Angela Trimaka, director of community engagement, said it launched a fundraising drive in November and hopes to see its totals grow through 2023.
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Many of their patients are victims of window crashes, cat attacks, vehicle collisions and habitat destruction, Trimka said. Over the past year, she said, they have received wildlife patients from at least 90 cities, towns and villages across southern Saskatchewan.
Trimca said the current clinic could no longer manage the number of patients who needed treatment.
“Right now, as I’m doing this interview, I’m actually working on our exam table that doubles as our office desk,” Tremka said.
“We are looking for a facility with more space, equipped with isolation and ICU rooms, a large outdoor space with plenty of trees and shrubs and an upgraded oil wash station, food storage space and office space.”
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“We’ve gone from accepting a few hundred patients each year to now more than 1,500 birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles that all need help, all while working in a 600-square-foot clinic.”
Among the patients they saw were birds great and small, from a red-throated hummingbird all the way to an American white pelican. They now have about 80 patients under care.
In order to prevent bird injuries in the first place, Tremka encourages the use of a product called “feather-friendly window tape,” which is basically like dots that people can put on their windows.
“It’s affordable and accessible and birds can actually see these points, although it doesn’t really impair our vision. It prevents window slams from happening almost 100 percent. It’s super effective.”
However, window strikes are not the only threat to birds. In Canada, she said, “100 million birds… die every year from cat attacks and that’s a number I can’t even comprehend.”
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She suggested keeping cats indoors, using catios, a cat backpack or a harness with a leash if you let them out.
“Not only does this help protect wildlife, but it also helps protect your pet from getting lost, getting hit by a vehicle, or eating something it shouldn’t.”
Anyone needing wildlife assistance can contact Salthaven directly and they will guide them through the process of how to safely contain the animal and bring it to the facility.
Fundraising donations can be made at website.
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