Where do you get your funding?
The Wildlife Centre does not receive any regular ongoing government funds for operations. We do get the occasional grant for infrastructure (eg. building addition or developing pathways) or to acquire equipment. Our operating costs must be raised through a number of funding sources. These include donations, animal sponsorships, gift shop proceeds, bequests, fundraisers, and casinos. We are a registered charity that issues tax receipts for donations of cash or gifts-in-kind.
This is a government operation isn't it?
No. We are a private, not-for-profit charity, registered under the Societies Act. We have a contract (renewed annually) with Sustainable Resource Development - Fish and Wildlife Division and Canadian Wildlife Service. We are not paid to provide this service.
How many people work there?
We currently have 6 full time and 2 part time staff members. We're privileged to receive as many as 16 international volunteers every summer, staying with us 2-3 months at a time, helping us in every aspect of our wildlife hospital and education centre.
Are you vets?
No. We have learned most of what we know from experience and by attending conferences sponsored by the two international associations of wildlife rehabilitators. We do consult with vets in Sundre as well as with provincial Fish and Wildlife biologists frequently. X-Rays and surgical procedures are performed by our vets in Sundre.
What do you do with the bodies of the animals that die?
All birds of prey and rare or endangered species bodies must be sent to Fish and Wildlife. From there, they may be distributed to educational institutions. Anyone who brings in a bird of prey which dies in our care and who wants to mount the body for display must contact the office of Fish and Wildlife in the area the bird was found in for permission to obtain the body through a "Found Dead" permit.
What is the success rate?
Our average: 60%. North American average: 37%.
How many animals are you treating now?
Depending on the time of year, the number of patients in the hospital varies between 80 - 250, including "permanents". Permanents are animals with injuries that can't be repaired, but can enjoy a good quality life in captivity as a foster parent, companion, or education animal.
What kind of animals do you treat? It's mostly birds, isn't it?
About 60% of our patients are birds. However, mammals do take up close to 35% of our patient load. We treat a variety of birds from hummingbirds to bald eagles and everything in between. We also treat, rehabilitate, and release a variety of mammals from squirrels, fox, and porcupine to moose and deer fawns. In all, we have treated over 200 different species, the vast majority of which are native species.
Can you come and get the injured animal in my yard?
Yes we can help you, depending on how far away you are from our Centre. We rely on a network of volunteers to assist us with patient transport. We do encourage and support the finder to contain and transport the patient if at all possible, saving us valuable volunteer time and creating a unique experience for the finder. We encourage you to call us for advice when finding an injured animal and we can come with a transport plan together.