A group heads out on a tour of the B.C. SPCA's Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin during a previous open house event. This year's event

A group heads out on a tour of the B.C. SPCA's Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin during a previous open house event. This year's event

Go behind the scenes at Wild ARC in Metchosin

Annual open house happens April 1 and 2, but register soon to secure your spot

Ever wondered what happens to suburban wildlife that gets into trouble on the West Shore and other local communities?

BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre has helped raise orphaned wild babies, heal injured wild animals and treat a range of wildlife illnesses since opening its doors in 1997.

The Wild ARC facility is normally restricted to staff and volunteers as they work to save these wild lives, but one weekend each year community members are invited behind the scenes to get a glimpse of wildlife rehabilitation in action.

During the annual open house weekend, April 1 and 2, the public can explore the facility and learn about its work. Wild ARC volunteers guide small tour groups through the 10-acre property, showing how the rehabilitation team cared for more than 130 different species last year.

“It takes a lot of knowledge and planning to be able to help such a diverse range of species,” says Wild ARC’s assistant manager Heather Schmitt. “We admit wild patients ranging from delicate baby hummingbirds to feisty injured river otters to ocean-faring seabirds – each species requires specialized housing, care and nutrition, and we’re able to provide that in one multi-faceted facility.”

Wild ARC’s free open house welcomes visitors from noon to 4 p.m. in Metchosin, but tour reservations are required (spca.bc.ca/tourwildarc). Donations of food and supplies to help care for the animals are much appreciated and a wish list is provided with registration.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com