BC SPCA’s Wild ARC says the facility is housing fewer injured wildlife this spring than typical intake numbers. (Facebook/Wild ARC)

Injured wildlife admissions drop roughly 80 per cent during COVID-19 pandemic

Wild ARC speculates reduced traffic and active job sites impact numbers

Most years, the spring months bring a boom in patient intakes at Wild ARC (Animal Rehabilitation Centre), the BC SPCA’s Metchosin-based wildlife rescue centre.

Each spring the clinic typically takes in about 100 patients – handfuls of critically injured deer or raccoons struck by cars or nests full of baby birds or rabbits discovered in warehouses or busy job sites. But this year things are different.

As of April 8, the centre is caring for only 20 animals.

“It’s way slower than usual,” says Ginelle Smith, Wild ARC manager. “It shows that what we’re dealing with here is mostly human caused.”

Smith asks people to be cautious as they beginning gardening or doing yard work.

“There might be bunny nests, squirrel nests and bird nests … if you do come across something try not to touch them and give us a call immediately,” she said.

READ ALSO: B.C. vet stresses need for pet hygiene despite COVID-19 risk being low

In the last few weeks, British Columbians – along with most of the world – received orders to stay inside and social distance to help curb the spread of COVID-19. On April 7 provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued warnings that people should not make travel or gathering plans for the Easter long weekend – typically a busy time for Vancouver Island parks, camp sites and roads.

While fewer patients are coming in to Wild ARC, Smith says spring babies are being spotted earlier than usual. She can’t say for sure, since a number of factors determine wildlife reproductive timing, but Smith wonders if wildlife are having an easier time finding nesting sites in Greater Victoria.

“Maybe they are just finding areas where they feel safe to do it,” she said.

The non-profit rescue, while fully operational, is feeling the impact of the crisis like everyone else – staff are following physical distancing protocols and summer hiring is frozen.

“It’s good that we don’t [have as many patients] either because we don’t have the manpower,” Smith said, adding funding might feel the pinch too. “We’ve been instructed to cancel all fundraising until July.”

READ ALSO: SPCA seeks cash for duck injured fleeing eagle, smashing into window

Wild ARC remains open for patient intake and pick up arrangements. The facility is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The BC SPCA cruelty report and wildlife support line is 1-855-622-7722. Wild Arc can be reached at 250-478-9453.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMetchosinWild ARC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

HarbourCats players celebrate winning the North Division Championship Series in 2019. (Christian J. Stewart/File Photo)
Victoria HarbourCats locked out of team Facebook page

Management hires legal team to solve issue

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Victoria police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Victoria police are looking for high-risk offender Douglas McPherson. (Courtesy of VicPD)
UPDATED: Victoria police arrest high-risk parolee with history of bank robbery

Citizen alerts cops after spotting parolee on Pandora Avenue

(Black Press Media file photo)
Police arrest suspect in Saanich liquor store break and enters

Windowpane removal key component in string of thefts

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

Most Read