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Racoons peer out from their dens and squirrels scurry around the branches in their enclosure hoping for a treat at the Procyon Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre on the 7th Line of New Tecumseth. The Centre hosts a variety of wildlife native to Ontario that have been injured or a sick and need some help before they can be released back into the wild.
“We take in all species that are native to Ontario,” explained Centre director Debra Spilar. “Deer, fox, coyotes, minks, raccoons, squirrels, we take care of all our own animals. We don't take in pets or exotics. We don't take in cats or dogs. People find them all over – some are found in attics or have been hit by cars. We have quite a few here now that have been hit by cars. Others have been orphaned. The mother may have been trapped but the babies are still in the nest.”
The Centre has several different areas to care for the animals when they are brought in, from a new animal station where they can be examined by a veterinarian to a quarantine area for when animals must be separated from the others.
Many of the animals are kept in outdoor pens that are protected from the elements and have a natural-style setting with small dens and tree branches to make them feel at home.
There are many squirrels, kept in family groups, that playfully run around their cage and excitedly wait for feeding time.
The Centre even has an area dedicated to bats.
“Sometimes the bats are in a house because of the warmth, and they might come out of hibernation too early and if there's a cold snap, they'll find them on the ground,” Ms. Spilar explained of the way bats come to the shelter. “People bring them to us and we keep them until the spring.”
During the spring, the Centre usually has quite a few young deer that have been orphaned for various reasons. There is a deer pen with a feeding station. Once they get a little older, they can roam in a fenced and forested ten-acre area that is just like their natural habitat.
The deer are usually released when they are seven or eight months old and considered to be juveniles.
The raccoon shelter is filled with the playful animals who have all been injured or have been sick and are recovering. One young raccoon survived a vicious dog attack and is well on the way to recovery after receiving severe injuries.
The Centre also teaches people about wildlife and conservation.
“We have classes here,” Ms. Spilar said. “We have Girl Guides, Scouts, Cubs, and some adult clubs. We train vet techs and interns here.”
The Centre has been operating and expanding for ten years. They are hoping to expand even more with the addition of a new building and using one of the existing rooms for a new nursery space.
Ideally, they are looking for a school portable that is no longer needed to be a new teaching centre. You can learn more about the Wildlife Centre by visiting the website at www.procyonwildlife.com
By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Post date: 2021-01-15 00:51:24
Post date GMT: 2021-01-15 05:51:24
Post modified date: 2021-01-15 00:51:32
Post modified date GMT: 2021-01-15 05:51:32
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