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B.C. SPCA reminds public to leave wildlife care to professionals

Only three of the baby swallows survived after being admitted to the SPCA's Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre.
Image Credit: SPCA / Press release
August 31, 2020 - 7:30 PM

A recent rescue at the B.C. SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre serves as a reminder to the public to leave wildlife care to the professionals.

Five baby barn swallows were recently admitted to the Wild Animal Centre after being in the care of a member of the public for a week, according to a B.C. SPCA release.

When they arrived, the birds were in rough shape.

"One of the swallows was assessed as being in critical condition with laboured breathing and was declining fast. Unfortunately, the most humane option for this little bird was euthanasia,” Wild Animal Centre representative Tara Thom said in the release. “A second swallow also declined quickly after admission and although the bird was provided with oxygen and a constant temperature within an incubator, it passed away shortly after."

Although the remaining three birds were thin and dehydrated, after three weeks of specialized care they were healthy enough for release back into the wild. 

“Wildlife rehabilitation is not just feeding an animal. Not only does it require provincial and federal permits, wildlife rehabilitation requires knowledge of the natural history of over 140 different species admitted to Wild ARC each year,” Thom said. "Wildlife rehabilitation also requires a facility with enclosures suitable for each stage of development through to release as well as equipment to provide accurate and timely diagnoses and treatment."

While caring for a wild animal may be done with the best of intentions, the SPCA wants to remind the public that rehabilitation is better left in the hands of professionals.

If you find a wild animal that may need help, you can call the SPCA’s knowledgeable wildlife assistants and operators at 1-855-622-7722 to help assess the situation.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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