Okanagan Valley getting much-needed wildlife rehabilitation centre located in Summerland – Penticton News
Local help for hurt wildlife
Photo: IWRS, Eva Hartmann
A much-needed wildlife rehabilitation centre Okanagan Valley is on its way.
After a year of searching for a suitable property, the Interior Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (IWRS) was thrilled to announce Friday that they have settled on a location for their centre that will fill a gap in services for wildlife in need throughout the region: Rural farmland in Summerland.
“The land belongs to the Laidlaw family, who lives there and uses the front of the property for keeping horses.They have generously allowed us to use the back part to build up our wildlife rehabilitation centre,“ said Eva Hartmann, IWRS president and registered veterinary technician.
They plan to use the parcel of land to build temporary structures with enclosures for various species.
According to IWRS, they plan to get construction underway in September, as government licensing for their rescue society can only be granted once the facility is in place and up to standards.
Currently, the closest option for rescued wildlife in need of care is in Kamloops, other than birds of prey which are taken care of at SORCO Raptor Rehab in Oliver.
“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 care-takers to assess, treat and rehabilitate it until release, no long-distance transport required,” Hartmann said.
All wildlife rehabilitation centres in British Columbia are funded by private donations. IWRS held a preliminary fundraiser for this new centre during the pandemic via an online auction, and has now updated their in-kind wish list on their webpage with much-needed construction materials.
“There is also a list of needed items that can be ordered via Amazon in support of our centre-in-the-making,” Hartmann added.
Find out more about IWRS and how you can contribute, whether via a donation or by spending time volunteering with the build, click here.