Last year was a record-breaking year for the Burnaby-based Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C. The non-profit group, with headquarters at Burnaby Lake, cared for 4,036 animals - up from 3,312 in 2011 - making 2012 the busiest in the non-profit's 34-year history.
"The long winter, the salmonella outbreak in the spring which saw the arrival of dozens
pine siskins, and the closure of Monika's wildlife shelter in Surrey have all contributed to
the increase in the number of animals coming into the care of the Wildlife Rescue Association," said Yolanda Brooks in a press release. "Our staff and volunteers have
done an amazing job with caring for so many animals, but members of the public are also
playing a vital part in saving lives. We rely on them to bring animals in distress to us, and
with their help and support we can continue to provide a lifeline for sick and injured
In spring, wildlife rescuers were warning the public to clean out bird feeders regularly, as pine siskins, a type of migratory finch, were dying in large numbers around the Lower Mainland. Salmonella was thought to be the culprit, which can easily spread if bird feeders aren't cleaned properly.
Wildlife rehabilitators dealt with many regular species (geese, raccoons, skunks and herons, for instance) but they also helped a few critters rarely found in the Lower Mainland. A red-listed screech owl, a California quail, and a common poorwill (only one of three spotted on the B.C. coast since 1953) were among the more unusual birds that spent time at the rehabilitation centre.