Judy Boyd of the Medicine River Wildlife Centre looks out from the old dismantled hospital onto the work that has begun on the new hospital.

Wildlife centre prepping for winter

Medicine River Wildlife Centre will have heat to continue running this fall and winter while construction of its new animal hospital continues.

Medicine River Wildlife Centre will have heat to continue running this fall and winter while construction of its new animal hospital continues.

“It won’t be pretty, and it won’t be the most efficient, but it will be better than freezing here or having to shut down,” said executive director Carol Kelly on Tuesday.

She said a plumber will be putting together a coil heating system to operate in the three rooms that were once public spaces but have since been turned into the hospital during construction.

Kelly was worried the hospital would have to shut down while the centre fundraises to build its replacement hospital.

She said thankfully word spread and $70,000 was raised this year, and about $15,000 in gifts and in-kind donations.

“We’re getting up to the $100,000 mark. We’re hearing from people all over the province,” Kelly said.

A few community fundraising projects are also underway.

“We’re optimistic we’ll continue to move forward, and continue to build over the winter and have it set up in the spring.”

The $900,000 project includes a replacement building and new septic system. So far about $400,000 has been raised, with $250,000 to $300,000 in grants pending.

She said enough money has come in so that concrete and septic system work continues.

“We’ve got the concrete foundation in for the new wing and part of the old wing. The septic system is going in next week.

“I’m desperate to make sure (the walls) are up before the snow flies.”

Throughout construction, injured and sick animals in Central Alberta have still been treated at the centre.

So far this year, staff have seen about 1,500 patients.

Among them was a family of four-week-old baby squirrels found in logs that a man had purchased in Sundre this the summer.

“He was stacking them and he thought he heard a squeaking. He went investigating in the logs and he found one that had a hole in it. He very carefully cut it open to find a nest of baby squirrels.

“There were seven of them tucked down into the nest. They were quite dehydrated. We have three of the seven that have done well and they’re thriving.”

Right now, a lot of young hawks are coming in, she said.

“It’s the season where the hawks are leaving home and starting to get out into the world. They are teenage hawks and not real bright about the world, so they’re getting hit by vehicles and getting electrocuted.”

When staff are not treating or rescuing wildlife, they are advising people who call with wildlife issues.

“We’re having lots of calls about skunks moving into people’s yards and digging in for the winter. We’re dealing with all those calls.”

To find out more about Medicine River Wildlife Centre, visit www.mrwc.ca.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Police say a woman in the Red Deer area may be in danger

Public’s assistance is urgently requested

Cannabis legalization won’t impact one Red Deer pot dispensary

Nothing changes for Compass Cannabis Clinic in Red Deer despite legalization

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

B.C. man accused of swimming naked in Toronto shark tank arrested in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police have arrested a B.C. man who is… Continue reading

Most Read