Four baby raccoons stick together.

Four baby raccoons stick together.

Where the wild things are

The open house takes place Saturday (March 31) and Sunday (April 1) from 12 to 4 p.m. at Wild ARC, 1020 Malloch Rd. in Metchosin.

Ever wonder where injured wild animals go to get better? Now’s your chance to find out.

The B.C. SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre is inviting the public to its eighth annual open house for a rare, behind-the-scenes look at how the animal rehab centre operates.

The event also features a book launch by Vancouver author Nicholas Read. His book, City Critters: Wildlife in the Urban Jungle, is about how wild animals survive in areas populated by humans.

“Most of the animals that come into the ARC have been in some way impacted by humans,” Wild ARC manager Kari Marks said.

While animals undergoing rehabilitation will not be available for viewing, visitors can expect to see a raptor up close, with its trainer.

Last year, Wild ARC took in almost 2,000 injured or orphaned wild animals.

Of those, 440 came from Saanich and another 437 from Victoria, while 429 were from Colwood, Langford and Metchosin.

Red and grey squirrels and racoons are common animals brought to the West Shore centre for care, Marks said. These are mainly baby animals that are often orphaned because their mothers have been removed or hurt.

Whether we realize it or not, wild animals such as skunks, racoons and coyotes live among us, Read said.

“Urban wildlife is something that people notice from time to time. Whenever a deer arrives in your backyard, you can’t help but notice,” Read said. “Those animals that we don’t expect to see in an urban area are turning up more and more often.”

A self-proclaimed animal-lover, Read said he’s always been interested in animals and worries about their future.

“There are some animals, wild animals, who’ve managed to build a new life for themselves in cities and they’re the lucky ones,” he said. “If an animal can adapt to living in a city, well, that animal has a big advantage over a wild animal who can’t.”

His book looks at terrestrial mammals, such as rats; marine mammals, like seals and whales; fish and other species along the shores of beaches, such as crabs and shrimp; birds, including ducks and swans; reptiles and amphibians; and insects and spiders.

The book attempts to explain why urban wildlife – namely black bears, deer and cougars – are increasingly being encountered in heavily populated areas, Read said.

“Even though we think of cities as concrete jungles, they’re not.” he said. “There’s lots of green space in cities and as long as there is some green space, there is territory for those (animals) to live.”

All proceeds from the book will go to local animal charities, starting with $1,000 to the B.C. SPCA, Read said.

The open house is by donation – when you register you’re given a list of items the centre needs (liquid laundry detergent, bleach and paper towels are few).

“Since we’re completely dependent on the public for our support, bringing things like that really does help us,” Marks said.

As well, visitors will have the opportunity to sponsor a cage or animal at Wild ARC, Marks said.

Visitors can choose to help with the future care of an injured or orphaned animal by donating money.

The open house takes place Saturday (March 31) and Sunday (April 1) from 12 to 4 p.m. at Wild ARC, 1020 Malloch Rd. in Metchosin.

Tours of the centre will start every 20 minutes and will last about an hour.

Only 1,000 guests can be accommodated. Reservations are required. Register online at Spca.bc.ca/tourwildarc.

reporter@vicnews.com

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

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Youth sustains minor injuries in stabbing at Saanich Plaza

Suspect under age of 16 taken into custody, no risk to the public, police say

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Sue Hodgson returns as publisher of the Peninsula News Review starting June 1. (Courtesy Sue Hodgson)
Peninsula News Review welcomes back Sue Hodgson as publisher

Dale Naftel takes helm of Oak Bay News as publisher

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports 1st vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

Most Read