August 10, 2013 - 8:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - Construction is ready to begin on a new animal rehabilitation centre at the B.C. Wildlife Park.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place this week for the Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre, a project that has been years in the making, according to manager of education and special events David Edwards.
"We're really excited," he said. "It's been in the works for quite a long time."
The zoo, located just east of the city, is owned by the City of Kamloops. The addition was included in the zoo's master plan about 10 years ago, with private donors, such as Ron and Rae Fawcett whom the centre is named after, footing the bulk of the bill.
The centre is used to care for wildlife with injuries or ailments to rehabilitate them either back into the wild or into their new home at the park.
"We take them in, we give them the medical care they need, and hopefully release them," Edwards said. "A lot of our animals at the park are former rehabilitated animals."
The current centre is about 850 to 900 square feet in size, not enough room to supply the demand of about 300 or so calls per year from the public .
"It was just way too small," Edwards said.
The new building, set to begin construction right away, will be about three times the size with 'better everything' including a more effective use of space and more complete services.
The facility will house everything from birds to beavers.
"Whatever animal is around that needs help, we take," Edwards said.
The park encourages people to call the park before bringing an animal to the rehabilitation centre by phoning 250-573-3242.
The new centre is expected to be completed this fall.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013