Alberta’s Orphaned and Injured Wildlife Need Your Help

The Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) has collected and cared for more than 1,700 injured or orphaned animals in Alberta this year, but more and more injured animals are in need of help.

The animals that the institute sees are unfortunately injured, mutilated or orphaned as a result of human interference. The AIWC operates across Alberta, although Lillie said the majority of injured animals, more than 75 percent of injured animals arrive through their Calgary center, while the rest come from surrounding areas.

“It is very rarely a natural predation or natural reasons why we see these animals in our care. In an ideal world, we would not need wildlife rehabilitation centers,” said Holly Lillie, executive director from the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation. “The reality is that the demand for our services is increasing every year. 95% of cases occur as a result of human conflict or interaction in some way. “

AIWC sees everything from cubs, moose calves, fox puppies, flying squirrels, badgers, bats and beavers.

“We have dubbed this year the Year of the Mammals because of the immense diversity of the mammalian species we have cared for,” said Lillie. “It doesn’t even count over 110 [bird] species we see; These range from grebes to swans, to robins “,

The cost of treating injured or orphaned creatures can run up to over $ 1,000, although each animal has very different needs.

“With all the moose we have received this year, they were taken care of because the mother was hit by a car and they are orphans,” she said. “For a baby moose, just like it would in the wild, it will need its mother’s milk and this is a specialized formula that we have to order from the United States. Milk is therefore very expensive. “

Flying creatures, like birds, need very different care, especially if they have broken wings or a head injury.

“Depending on the injury, the average is about two to three weeks of care. For a songbird, its food would be fruit, then insects depending on the species, or mealworms and crickets,” said Lillie. “It is a very specialized field that we practice and it is essential because if these animals are not entrusted to us, they will perish in the wild, unfortunately.”

Like many NGOs, the pandemic has had a huge impact on the funding of the AIWC and they are asking for help from the public, but it is not just monetary help that they seek.

“You can follow the AIWC on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about the important work we do; you can also donate items from our wishlist. Maybe you can get a few more groceries or you have an item that you ‘don’t use and that fits what we have on our wish list,’ said Lillie. “If you are shopping for Christmas gifts, we have a great program; the adopt an animal program where you can symbolically adopt an animal and give it to yourself or a loved one. “

The AIWC’s goal is to raise $ 85,000 by the end of December, which will allow it to continue saving lives until 2022. For Lillie, her love of animals is a prerequisite for her work. she accomplishes.

“It can be very emotionally difficult, especially in our facilities. We see wild animals coming in, in really poor conditions. So you have to be an animal lover,” she said. “[My favourite animal] would certainly be the beaver. We’ve had quite a few beavers this year and they’re just amazing animals. They’re often seen as pests in the wild, but they really do a fantastic job and they are amazing engineers. “

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