This season has been a record-breaking one for the B.C. SPCA Wild ARC (Animal Rehabilitation Centre), which saw nearly 30 per cent more patients arriving during the summer months than last year.
As autumn arrives, the last of the babies are released into their new wild homes. Fall brings its share of distressed patients, however, and November typically sees many injured raptors – particularly owls – needing a helping hand.
Nocturnal animals like owls often hunt near roadsides for the small rodents like mice and shrews that make up the majority of their diet. As a result, they are at higher risk from vehicle collisions at this time of the season, and Wild ARC sees a dramatic rise in the number of owls admitted with injuries from being hit by cars, in addition to those colliding with windows.
One such patient currently receiving care at Wild ARC is a great horned owl who arrived in September in critical condition, weak and unable to stand. After several weeks of medical treatment and supportive care, the owl is now able to perch upright and eat on his own. Time in Wild ARC’s outdoor aviaries will provide him with the opportunity to exercise and continue to regain his strength, and rehabilitators feel optimistic for his full recovery.
“Cases like these are incredibly rewarding for our team,” said senior wildlife rehabilitator Christina Carrières. “We’re very grateful to have the knowledge, the facilities and the community support that it takes to give these wild patients a second chance to fly free.”
An excellent opportunity to support the care of these owls and the other wild patients on the road to recovery is just around the corner. Wild ARC’s annual Fall for Wildlife Dinner Auction on Nov. 14 offers an enticing evening of delicious food and a live and silent auction.
“We are eagerly anticipating this event,” said organizer Sharon Burkmar. “The combination of a great meal and wonderful supporters, paired with a wide variety of items to bid on, makes this an evening not to be missed.”
To purchase tickets and to get all the latest news and information, visit bcspca.ca/fallforwildlife.