BC SPCA’s Wild ARC says the facility is housing fewer injured wildlife this spring than typical intake numbers. (Facebook/Wild ARC)

Injured wildlife admissions drop roughly 80 per cent during COVID-19 pandemic

Wild ARC speculates reduced traffic and active job sites impact numbers

Most years, the spring months bring a boom in patient intakes at Wild ARC (Animal Rehabilitation Centre), the BC SPCA’s Metchosin-based wildlife rescue centre.

Each spring the clinic typically takes in about 100 patients – handfuls of critically injured deer or raccoons struck by cars or nests full of baby birds or rabbits discovered in warehouses or busy job sites. But this year things are different.

As of April 8, the centre is caring for only 20 animals.

“It’s way slower than usual,” says Ginelle Smith, Wild ARC manager. “It shows that what we’re dealing with here is mostly human caused.”

Smith asks people to be cautious as they beginning gardening or doing yard work.

“There might be bunny nests, squirrel nests and bird nests … if you do come across something try not to touch them and give us a call immediately,” she said.

READ ALSO: B.C. vet stresses need for pet hygiene despite COVID-19 risk being low

In the last few weeks, British Columbians – along with most of the world – received orders to stay inside and social distance to help curb the spread of COVID-19. On April 7 provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued warnings that people should not make travel or gathering plans for the Easter long weekend – typically a busy time for Vancouver Island parks, camp sites and roads.

While fewer patients are coming in to Wild ARC, Smith says spring babies are being spotted earlier than usual. She can’t say for sure, since a number of factors determine wildlife reproductive timing, but Smith wonders if wildlife are having an easier time finding nesting sites in Greater Victoria.

“Maybe they are just finding areas where they feel safe to do it,” she said.

The non-profit rescue, while fully operational, is feeling the impact of the crisis like everyone else – staff are following physical distancing protocols and summer hiring is frozen.

“It’s good that we don’t [have as many patients] either because we don’t have the manpower,” Smith said, adding funding might feel the pinch too. “We’ve been instructed to cancel all fundraising until July.”

READ ALSO: SPCA seeks cash for duck injured fleeing eagle, smashing into window

Wild ARC remains open for patient intake and pick up arrangements. The facility is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The BC SPCA cruelty report and wildlife support line is 1-855-622-7722. Wild Arc can be reached at 250-478-9453.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMetchosinWild ARC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Traffic redirected after crash on McKenzie Avenue

Saanich Police responded to Thursday evening collision

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Tour de Victoria postpones 10th annual ride to 2021

Ride that draws more than 3,000 cyclists to Greater Victoria was set for August

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read