Otis the owl perches on the arm of Judy Boyd of the Medicine River Wildlife Centre during a fundraising visit to ATB Financial in Sylvan Lake last Wednesday. The centre is aiming to raise funds for a new wildlife hospital as soon as possible

Medicine River Wildlife Centre hospital needs funding to avoid closure

The Medicine River Wildlife Centre’s hospital is on the brink of being shut down due to a lack of funding for a new facility.

The Medicine River Wildlife Centre’s hospital is on the brink of being shut down due to a lack of funding for a new facility.

With the concrete floor and septic system already in place, walls and utilities are still needed for the facility, costing around $400,000, said executive director Carol Kelly.

The new facility will replace the old one in Red Deer County, and staff have raised $17,000 so far.

The hope is to get the building completed by winter, but if not, Kelly said there won’t be a place to take in wild animals needing care.

“We really need people’s help to get this building up,” she said.

Edmonton and Calgary have wildlife care facilities, but Kelly said most people won’t take the time to transport wildlife to a proper facility; instead they will resort to caring for them in their own home illegally and inappropriately.

“I honestly believe that people get busy with their own lives.” she said. “The facility has always been there and always says yes when there’s a problem. I think people may forget that we may need their help.”

Kelly anticipates almost 2,000 patients will need treatment this year, for over 200 species — something the old hospital was never designed to do.

The facility also hosts international students and local work experience students.

“We have all kinds of things that we are involved with throughout the community, and if we’re not able to provide our core services, it will be a real disappointment and a real inconvenience for the people of this area,” Kelly said.

Even though staff are often thanked for doing their jobs, Kelly is unsure if people realize the centre’s need for funding — or their own ability to help.

“I just don’t think they are taking it seriously that we really need a new building, because our current one is completely done,” she said.

The new facility will be much safer and greener, and will more efficiently provide environments suitable for wildlife rehabilitation, she added.

“We will be a self-contained, very green unit; the cage facilities will be much improved and we even have a room designed for a little mini hot tub for a loon to recover in.”

Information on donating to the new facility is available online at www.medicineriverwildlifecentre.ca.

 

Just Posted

Hard fought win for HJ Cody senior boys Lakers

Lakers took on Camrose Jan. 10 at home and waked away with a 76-65 win

Hope restored: Sylvan Lake resident receives kidney donation from younger sister

Sylvan Lake’s Lexie Libby undergo an operation for a new kidney, donated by her sister Emma.

Anglers reminded to register ice huts on Sylvan Lake

Lacombe County is reminding anglers to register their huts with the “Take it Off” program

WATCH: Pro-pipeline convoy travels through Sylvan Lake

Over 600 vehicles drove the route from Red Deer and back on Jan. 12

Sylvan Lake library hosting fifth annual XOX Valentines Party

The ladies only event will be held at the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library on Feb. 1

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Olivia and Liam top list for Alberta baby names in 2018

Premier Rachel Notley announced the top baby names in Alberta in 2018; Loki didn’t make the cut

Edmonton Police charged 236 people with auto theft in 2018

Police states many of the thefts are crimes of opportunity

Official torchbearers for 2019 Canada Winter Games announced

Canada Games officials open time capsule from Grande Prairie Games in 1995

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library encourages residents to Read for 15

Read for 15 is an annual event held in connection to Family Literacy Day.

Alberta Health Services, United Nurses of Alberta reach agreement to settle union grievance of nursing staffing shortage

Settlement includes the designation of 11.7 full-time-equivalent Registered Nurse relief positions

Woman’s complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest

Malcolm Joe D’Souza, who is 62, has been charged with one count of sexual assault

Most Read