Every year, for one weekend only, the public is able to see what happens behind closed doors at the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) as staff and volunteers work to save the lives of wild animals.
This year, the facility’s open house is March 30 and 31 and up to 1,000 community members can get a glimpse of wildlife rehabilitation in action.
“It takes a lot of knowledge and planning to be able to help such a diverse range of species,” said Meg Hatch, Wild ARC assistant manager. “We admit patients ranging from delicate baby hummingbirds to feisty injured river otters, to ocean-faring seabirds. Each species requires special housing, care and nutrition and we’re able to provide that in one multi-faceted facility.”
During its open house weekend, Wild ARC’s team of staff and volunteers welcome members of the public to explore the facility and discover how they help wild animals as volunteers guide small tour groups through the 10-acre property.
Last year, the facility’s rehabilitation team cared for more than 160 different species. The facility operates all 365 days of the year and has cared for more than 40,000 patients since opening in 1997.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize how much specialized treatment is required to care for our wild patients. It can be fascinating to learn,” Hatch said.
The open house runs noon to 4 p.m. on March 30 and 31. Tour reservations are required and can be booked on the Wild ARC open house website. Only 1,000 guests will be admitted during the two-day event.
To avoid potential stress, no wild patients will be available to view but a live education raptor will be on site. Dogs are not allowed as the centre wants to avoid any potential disturbances to its patients.
The event is free but donations are being taken to support Wild ARC, located at 1020 Malloch Rd. in Metchosin.