The first of the 2018 students have arrived! Hanna, Kat, Lena, and Mai are all from Germany. These volunteers will be caring for wildlife, keeping the crumbling building as clean as possible, helping to build the new Wildlife Homes Playground, building a new Turkey Vulture nest site to attract a family of Vultures to live on the Centre’s property, and assisting with the many, many jobs the MRWC takes part in. 4 girls have arrived so far with another 9 or so students to come over the next 8 months.
An uncommon patient in our hospital arrived last week. A little, male Wood Duck was found thin, unstable on its feet, and unable to fly at Red Deer’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.
In January we reported on two Snowy Owls in our care. We are very happy to report that both are recovering nicely.
Emily came to us on July 4, 2011. She was a tiny, pink creature no more than a week old. At first we weren’t even sure what she was, but it was soon determined that she was a Bushy-tailed Woodrat.
We are very excited to announce that the precast concrete walls of our brand new wildlife hospital have been installed. The trucks and crane arrived mid-February and spent the day placing the walls. It was a thrilling day as the building quickly took shape! The trusses have been ordered and we are patiently awaiting news on the grant applied for last fall. If successful, the hospital will be completed this summer.
Spring is almost here and that means the new batch of young volunteers from around the world will be arriving to help us feed, clean, and care for the hundreds of patients we will receive over the summer. Volunteers are arranged through Fronteering Travel Services and so far this year are coming from Germany and Switzerland.
The work these students do save us time and money. We provide them with a residence and the opportunity to work with Alberta's wildlife.
In order to use our funds and time efficiently this year, we have chosen to reduce the number of booths we provide at events and trade shows in 2018. We limited ourselves to just 2 which have happened this month. The Red Deer Sportsman and Outdoor Adventure Show and the Red Deer Home Show are always good to us and bring a large crowd. This time we focused our education on living with wildlife, teaching people how to encourage wanted species, deter unwanted species, and live in harmony with our "wild neighbours". Fang the Skunk was there promoting understanding and tolerance.
We are pleased to bring you the story of one very lucky Great Grey Owl that was brought to our first aid station in Drayton Valley early December. Our volunteer vet, Savannah Howse-Smith from Rocky Rapids Veterinary Service, assisted Lil at our first aid station with an exam and x-rays to find that both wings were broken.
In anticipation of the new hospital going up this year we have decided to open one room as a small Interpretive Centre until the new public facility is built. We will be streaming activities in the hospital to a large screen in the room, offer displays and information, have one or more education animals around to visit, and of course a small gift shop to help raise funds.
As many of you know, our massive hawk and eagle enclosure was destroyed with an extremely heavy snow load a few years ago. We have been struggling ever since to juggle birds between flight cages in order to give our birds of prey the space they need to exercise and recover. Many donations were received and are being held for the construction of the new cage, but we need more. A GoFundMe campaign is in the works to help us raise the funds. Keep posted for details on how you can help.