Land donated for new wildlife rehab centre in Summerland | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Land donated for new wildlife rehab centre in Summerland

FILE PHOTO - Summerland is seen in this Aug. 25, 2021 photo.
August 27, 2021 - 7:00 PM

A generous family in Summerland is sharing a portion of their farm to help save animals. They're allowing the Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society to the build its rehabilitation centre on their property.

“We are planning to occupy this unused parcel to build temporary structures and enclosures for various species of wild animals needing care,” Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society co-founder Jonathan Laumer said in a press release. “It comprises of a small creek with a greenbelt, is partly wooded with willows, poplars and pine trees, and has a little old barn on it, providing great natural habitat and giving it some country charm.”

Aside from South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls in Oliver, which only rescues injured raptors, the closest licensed wildlife rehab centre to the Okanagan is the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops.

“We are here to educate the public about co-existence with wildlife, and if an individual animal needs care, it will have a modern facility and experienced caretakers to assess, treat and rehabilitate it until release – no long-distance transport required,” veterinarian Eva Hartmann said in the release.

READ MORE: Nature photographers capture Southern Interior spring with wildlife shots

Wildlife rehabilitation centres in B.C. have to rely upon private donations, rather than funding from the province.

“However, government licensing is required and may only get granted once a facility is ready built and government inspected to be up to par with the modern standard of caring for BC’s wild animals,” the press release reads.

The wildlife rehabilitation society is completely run by volunteers. A fundraiser was held — online due to COVID restrictions — where 72 prizes were donated by local businesses and individuals who also want to see a change in the Okanagan when it comes to our native wildlife.

Members of the society are still seeking out donations for the construction of the new facility, and the specific materials are listed on the In-Kind-Wishlist on the society's website here.

“There is also a virtual list of needed items that can be ordered via Amazon.ca in support of our centre-in-the-making,“ Hartmann said.

READ MORE: Kelowna woman plans to open first wildlife rehab centre in southern Interior


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