Polar Bear Blog

Churchill Wild participates in wild bird release at Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre

Churchill Wild's Courtney Horwood helps release Great Horned Owl at the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre in Ile des Chênes.
Churchill Wild’s Courtney Horwood helps release Great Horned Owl at the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre.

Churchill Wild’s Nolan Booth, Courtney Horwood, Sue Brown and Vanessa Desorcy recently paid a visit to the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre in Ile des Chênes, Manitoba to participate in the release of a bald eagle and a great horned owl.

Booth, Churchill Wild’s Director of Operations, has spent a lot of time at our polar bear lodges and has seen wild things most of us could only dream of witnessing, but he still ranks the opportunity to release a bald eagle back into the wild as “one of the most unique wildlife experiences of my life”.

Formed in 1984 by a group of environmentally-concerned citizens who care about the successful rehabilitation of injured, sick and orphaned wildlife, the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre was first known by the name Manitoba Wildlife Rehabilitation Organization (MWRO). The volunteers started the organization out of their backyards and in 1993 opened a centre in Glenlea, Manitoba.

The centre now operates out of Ile des Chênes, Manitoba and a new facility is on the way. Our Churchill Wild group received a tour of what will be the new Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre, which when complete will include geothermal heating, a fish pond and mice breeding to feed birds. The organization has secured 18 acres of land for a permanent $2.5 million wildlife hospital and education centre.

In addition to the wildlife hospital and education centre, there will be a variety of enclosures for wildlife rehabilitation including a flyway that allows for birds to exercise and practice flying prior to release, and a waterfowl enclosure with ponds for them to swim about.

The Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre has achieved 64% of their fundraising goal so far for the new facility, which is already in development.  Local organizations have also held numerous fundraisers and continue to do so.

“Wildlife Haven relies on social media quite a bit to get the word out,” said Horwood.”  And they’re doing a good job of it. People just seem to like helping animals and those who care for them. It was nice to see how it all works, and to be able to help out with the release of the birds back into the wild.”

Indeed, the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre has active and updated profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

The Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre is licensed to care for and rehabilitate wildlife in Manitoba by Manitoba Conservation and Environment Canada. The organization follows the Wildlife Rehabilitators Code of Ethics and the Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation, developed by the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. The centre also has Certified Wildlife Rehabilitators,  and staff and volunteers attend continuing education events regularly, such as the annual National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association Symposium.

For over 31 years, the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre has been rehabilitating wildlife from all over Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. To date, over 35,000 injured and orphaned wildlife have been cared for. The volunteer-based, registered charity not only helps injured, sick and orphaned wildlife, they also provide valuable education services to the community and rewarding opportunities for volunteers.

The Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre currently operates with the help of approximately 90 volunteers and one paid staff person, while veterinarians donate their time when needed.

“I was inspired by how much the volunteers could do with so few resources,” said Desorcy. “They’re a dedicated group working for a great cause, and they find it very satisfying.”

For more information please visit: Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre

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