Calls to Medicine River Wildlife Centre concerning animals that maybe injured have started early this spring.
“We started getting busy two or three weeks ago. I don’t know if COVID has done this to people, but they care more. They’re looking more at the wildlife,” said executive director Carol Kelly.
She said thankfully most of the wildlife people call about are not actually injured, for example, a goose that was fidgeting in her nest, or standing on one leg.
“Geese stand on one leg all the time.”
But it’s good that people are calling because it’s an opportunity to educate them, she said.
Kelly said in the last four weeks about 40 baby bunnies have been brought to the wildlife centre, many of them city bunnies.
“It’s been a rush of bunnies. We had several of them brought to us from the street in front of the Millennium Centre. I can’t tell them to put it back. There’s not a place to put them back.”
She said it’s very difficult to raise bunnies. They are susceptible to stress and it’s hard to duplicate their mother’s milk so they don’t survive. Instead, bunnies found in unsuitable areas in Red Deer are taken to forested spaces on the edge of the city where they are added to other bunny families.
The centre is also caring for five orphan baby foxes, one with an injured leg, likely after being hit by a car.
“He’s healing nicely and eating well. We know where his family is so as soon as he’s doing better, we’ll put him back with his family.”
Kelly said the other fox pups still need families, so anyone with animal or bird families with babies on their property, and is willing to accept more, is encouraged to contact the wildlife centre.
“Keep us informed. Let us know. We’d love to add our orphans into the new family.”