Young visitors to a past open house at the B.C. SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre visit with a tiny owl. The annual event is coming up soon and registrations are required

Young visitors to a past open house at the B.C. SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre visit with a tiny owl. The annual event is coming up soon and registrations are required

Learn about animal rehab work at Wild ARC

SPCA-owned facility opens its doors for events later this month

It’s a popular event that definitely gives paws for thought.

The B.C. SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) is hosting its 11th annual Open House on March 28 and 29 to provide people with a rare up-close and personal look at the work the centre does helping injured and orphaned wildlife get a leg up on returning to their natural habitat.

Wild ARC admitted more than 2,500 wild patients in 2014, and that total is expected to grow this year.

The 10-acre site offers no public access at other times of the year, so the open house allows people to come out and discover how rehabilitation staff and volunteers care for the approximately 140 different species the centre attends to each year, said Wild ARC manager Kari Marks.

“This is a once a year opportunity to take a tour,” said Marks, who has been at the facility the past four years.

Although those attending can’t disturb the animals in care, Wild ARC has arranged for some unique guests for the public to see.

Jeff Krieger from Alternative Wildlife Solutions, a local company, is bringing a couple of hawks. Mike Mackintosh from the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of B.C. will be on hand as well with a feathered friend.

The open house takes place both days between noon and 4 p.m. and is limited to a total of 1,000 visitors. Reservations are required and must be completed online at spca.bc.ca/tourwildarc2015.

There is no charge for this family friendly event, but gifts of food and supplies are gratefully accepted. A list of items needed at the centre will be provided upon registration.

The Wild ARC is at 1020 Malloch Rd. in Metchosin.

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