People can still sign up to take part in the ninth annual Critter Care Walkathon on Sunday.
In advance of the annual fundraiser, people are asked to collect pledges to help fund operations at the wildlife rehabilitation centre.
Walk on the Wild Side happens Oct. 1 in Campbell Valley Park.
The rehabilitation facility relies on about four big events during the year to raise awareness about its wildlife work and raise funds for that work. Critter Care is the only mammal rehabilitation facility in southern B.C.
Unfortunately, 2017 was a rough year. Critter Care was unable to have its July open house that typically brings in about 4,000 people.
“This year we had to cancel the open house because we were doing building,” explained Maureen Binnie, president of the non-profit society.
The raccoon structures had to be rebuilt.
“We couldn’t patch them anymore,” she added.
The walkathon is probably the third biggest fundraiser for the organization, with the spring auction being the second and the Christmas shopping the fourth.
“The walkathon kind of keeps us going over the winter,” she said.
At the walkathon there’s a barbecue and prizes for the top fundraisers. People can also pick up Critter Care clothing and merchandise.
“We just can’t do it without people’s help,” she said.
In addition to financial help from the public, the centre also has dedicated volunteers and interns/students from around the world come to Critter Care to work with the mammals.
Walkathon participants should use the park’s south entrance on Oct. 1. Turn east from 200th Street onto 8th Avenue to get to the parking area at the south entrance.
Registration and pledge forms are available at crittercarewildlife.org/events. Anyone with questions can contact the non-profit society at 604-530-2054 or through the website.
Critter Care has had a busy year.
It is currently home to two bear cubs and in the process of releasing its handful of coyotes back into the wild. The raccoons are being released and it’s raising two beaver kits.
The centre took in three kits coated in oil and two subsequently died.
“In the meantime we had another baby come in,” Binnie said.
She noted that the biggest factor is whether there are mammals needing help is the loss of habitat which then reduces the food sources for wildlife.
Binnie said human/wildlife conflict is only going to increase as development pushes out into more wildlife habitat.
For Critter Care, it’s meant having to find appropriate places to release the animals. It tries to return animals to the areas they were from originally.
“We’re having to go further and further afield to find release sites,” Binnie explained.