Do you know what to do if you find an injured bird in your yard, on a sidewalk or in a park?
That's where the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC (WRA) comes into play.
For decades, the non-profit WRA has provided rehabilitation for injured and orphaned wildlife throughout Western Canada. With over 6,000 birds of different species being brought into the facility each year, it's no surprise that they're recognized as the busiest animal rehabilitation centre in this part of the country.
But while the spring-summer season has a reputation for being notoriously bad for birds, this year has been considerably slower with a noted dive in admissions.
"We have 2,500 so far this year. Last year that was 3500 from January to June, so it is a significant drop," says WRA co-executive director Linda Bakker.
She credits that decrease to several factors, including harsher winter conditions or disease outbreaks in the winter months that might have lead to a busier winter intake.
Bakker also points to the Patullo gas line replacement project. Construction from that project has caused vehicles to be diverted to alternating, single-lane traffic, which could be causing delays in people trying to drop off animals at their Glencarin Drive facility in Burnaby before it's too late.
"To avoid any delays in care and treatment and people not being able to reach us in a timely manner, we have set up [a new] admissions centre," says Bakker, the co-executive director of WRA.
With the support of FortisBC and Peter Kiewit Sons ULC, the organization has temporarily opened the new admissions centre in the parking lot of the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club at 3760 Sperling Ave., which has enabled WRA to accommodate a more significant number of injured birds.
Bakker hopes the new centre will encourage more members to contact the association for help or bring in injured or orphaned wildlife.
So, the next time you find a small bird or critter needing help, don't rely on Google Maps to find them, says Bakker. Instead, call their helpline at 604-526-7275 or visit them at the new admissions centre at 3760 Sperling Ave.