A river otter enjoys a feed of salmon at the SPCA's Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin. The centre has installed five cameras

Wild ARC’s animal webcams serve dual purpose

Public and staff benefit from watching wildlife from a distance

As a hospital and convalescence facility, the B.C. SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre isn’t really set up to welcome visitors.

Recently the Wild ARC made a change to allow animal lovers to see the critters in action – it had video monitors installed in five separate locations around the Metchosin site.

Visitors clicking on to wildarc.com can now find a link to streaming video showing live action in the otter pond.

It’s been less than two weeks since the cameras were set up, but Wild ARC manager Kari Marks said the early feedback has been very positive.

“I think it’s something that will grow over time as people get to know it’s there,” she said.

In addition to the “otter-cam,” others are set up in the deer pen, the flight pen (for larger birds of prey), the racoons’ outer enclosure and in the racoon nursery.

“We’re going to keep (the online feed) on the otters for a couple of weeks, then we plan to shift it to the racoons, Marks said.

A family of racoons wintered at the Wild ARC and are expected to be active soon, she said.

While staff are pleased to give the public a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes at the centre and see the animals progress, Marks said, the cameras provide a double benefit.

“It really does help for us to be able to observe them from a distance, to see how they move with an injury. So we’re excited about both the public aspect and the unobtrusive observation.”

Ironically, the fact Wild ARC is very animal focused partly led to the decision to spend some of its sparse resources on cameras.

“We would love to have the public through here, and it would be great for revenue, but not great for the animals. So this is a really good compromise,” Marks said.

The hope is that by being able to watch what goes on at the facility, people may be more likely to consider donating to its operation.

That’s where an online feature introduced at the same time as the live video feed comes in.

The “Want to buy me dinner?” button is found just above the video picture and encourages people to donate an amount equivalent to the cost of feeding particular animals in the facility.

Wild ARC only opens to the public once a year. Its 10th annual open house happens March 29 and 30 from noon to 4 p.m. To avoid stressing out the patients, the public will not be able to view wild animals, but educational raptors will be on site.

Registration is required to take part in the tours. Visit wildarc.com to sign up.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read