Category Archives: Uncategorized

Scout Ventures – Jan. 19/17 Education Workshop

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Wild at Heart had a great night with the Scout Ventures for an education workshop on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017. After a presentation introducing Wild at Heart and some of the animals we’ve cared for, the Ventures broke into small groups (below):

 

Our education volunteers Amanda (L), Anna, and Sarah (R) led workshop activities that focused on x-ray analysis, water pollution and remediation, and bioaccumulation of pesticides in top predators like bald eagles. The volunteers have all volunteered as animal care interns for Wild at Heart, so they were able to answer any questions the Scouts and leaders had. Thank you for your hard work ladies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students learned about the effect urbanization and farming can have on a water system, and how seemingly harmless individual actions can have a cumulative negative effect (below).

 
Wild at Heart’s workshops are aligned with the Ontario Curriculum for Science and Technology, Arts, and Social Studies for grades 1-9, and include a PowerPoint, photos and videos of the animals in our care, and an interactive component if you prefer (activity, game, or craft). These presentations are 30- and 60- minutes long. Each workshop attendee should bring an item off our online wishlist or $5.

Available workshops:

  • Birds – waterfowl, corvids, songbirds, and raptors (species of special concern spotlight: bald eagle)
  • Turtles – threatened species spotlight (Blanding’s turtle)
  • Mammals – local species, habitat destruction
  • Ecosystem management – pollution, urban wildlife interactions, pesticides
  • Veterinary care – activities around wing wraps, casts, physiotherapy, x-rays, parasites, and medication. Generally presented to older ages.
  • Pollinators – focus on declining honeybee and monarch populations in Canada
  • General animal care – introduction to Wild at Heart. Can be used for starting a school fundraising campaign.

If you are interested in a school or community group presentation, please contact mail@wahrefugecentre.org. We try our best to accommodate presentation requests between 8am-8pm. French presentations may be available.

FedNor Press Conference – January 18, 2017

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Wild at Heart is grateful to announce a $95,000 grant received from FedNor. This grant will be used to enhance our education and eco-tourism scope, including the addition of live streaming, increased accessibility to our Centre, and exhibits in the education centre.

Thank you to the Maria and everyone at the Lively Tim Horton’s for their donation of coffee and donuts for the press release.

 

Thank you Ramakko’s Source for Adventure!

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Wild at Heart would like to thank Brian, Madison, and everyone at Ramakko’s Source for Adventure for their hard work in making our holiday sale such a huge success! Through the sales of bird houses, suet feeders, cards, and our 2017 calendars, Ramakko’s was able to raise over $800, with 100% of the proceeds going to Wild at Heart. This money is incredibly important as we head into our busy spring season, where this money will buy specialized diets, bedding, and medical supplies for the hundreds of orphaned, sick, and injured wildlife Wild at Heart admits every year.

Thank you Ramakko’s!

NEW Education Workshops

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Our education committee hosts workshops in classrooms and community groups like Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. Our workshops are aligned with the Ontario Curriculum for Science and Technology, Arts, and Social Studies for grades 1-9, and include a PowerPoint, photos and videos of the animals in our care, and an interactive component if you prefer (game or craft). These presentations are 30- and 60- minutes long. Each workshop attendee should bring an item off our online wishlist or $5.

Workshops available include:

  • Birds – waterfowl, corvids, songbirds, and raptors (species of special concern spotlight: bald eagle)
  • Turtles – threatened species spotlight (Blanding’s turtle)
  • Mammals – local species, habitat destruction
  • Ecosystem management – pollution, urban wildlife interactions, pesticides
  • Veterinary care – activities around wing wraps, casts, physiotherapy, x-rays, parasites, and medication. Generally presented to older ages.
  • Pollinators – focus on declining honeybee and monarch populations in Canada
  • General animal care – introduction to Wild at Heart. Can be used for starting a school fundraising campaign.

If you are interested in a school or community group presentation, please contact mail@wahrefugecentre.org. We try our best to accommodate presentation requests between 8am-8pm. French presentations may be available.

 

Apply: Feb.-Sept. 2017 Animal Care Internships

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ANIMAL CARE INTERNSHIPS APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN!

Wild at Heart Wildlife Refuge Centre is now looking for interns from February – September 2016.

Wild at Heart Wildlife Refuge Centre is a licensed wildlife rehabilitation centre dedicated to the care of a wide variety of orphaned, sick, and injured wildlife. The centre admits over 750 animals per year and works closely with a team of veterinarians. Wild at Heart is located in a small northern Ontario town, Lively, 15 km west of Sudbury, with access to public transportation. We offer a friendly fast paced learning opportunity in a climate controlled work environment. Facilities include access to a kitchenette, wireless Internet, and limited free on-¬site accommodations. Food costs are not included.

Internship Duration:
All intern positions are voluntary and full time. Position duration varies from a minimum of 2 months up to maximum of 6 months, 5 days per week, 40-50 hours per week. Schedule is rotating and includes days, evenings and weekends. Preference will be given to intern applicants dedicated to internships longer than 2 months. Internships for the busy season will run anywhere between April to September.

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Position Descriptions:

Animal care Internship:
The successful interns will gain valuable practical experience in wildlife rehabilitation techniques while caring for a variety of native mammals, birds, and reptiles. Duties include animal admissions, diet preparation and feeding, cage cleaning, medication administration, wound management, and other daily care needs of the wildlife patients. No experience is necessary, but commitment to the duration of the internship is required.

Animal Care Leader Internship:
Intern leaders are involved in all of the above, with more focus on management of a particular species such as squirrels, raccoons, or songbirds. Leaders would be responsible for their assigned species, including monitoring health of individuals and assisting in mentoring of other interns and volunteers. Experience in wildlife rehabilitation techniques is advisable. The minimum length of the animal care leader internship is 4 months or longer, depending on the species of interest.

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Qualifications:
* At least 18 years of age
* Commitment to the length of the internship
* Must be reliable, very dedicated, able to multi¬-task, and commit to work hours according to the needs of the animals.
* Also able to perform repetitive, physically demanding tasks in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment.
* Criminal background check may be requested.

Accommodations
We provide on-site accommodations, but these are limited and are reserved quickly. There is a kitchen, sitting area, two washrooms as well as shared bedrooms. Please state on your application whether or not you would like to be considered for accommodations.
To Apply: Please email resume with cover letter explaining why you are interested in joining our rehabilitation team (please include start and end dates available and specify which position you are applying for) to:

mail@wahrefugecentre.org

* SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY PLEASE

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WAH Sale at Ramakko’s – Starting Nov. 28th

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Ramakko’s Source for Adventure, a valued partner of Wild at Heart, is graciously offering to host a Wild at Heart merchandise booth leading up to the holidays! Wild at Heart is the perfect stop for all your shopping needs, with gifts for everyone on your list. We will have symbolic animal adoptions, memberships, greeting cards, bird houses, suet feeders, 2017 calendars, framed prints, and more! The sale runs from November 28-December 20th. Check out our Facebook event here, share with your friends, and “check-in” at Ramakko’s on Facebook

Be sure to also post the flyer on your social media accounts!

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Camping Workshop at Ramakko’s

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Thank you to Ramakko’s Source For Adventure for hosting a camping seminar for our animal care interns and volunteers November 7, 2016. Staff members Madison and Andrew were on-hand to talk about camping in Northern Ontario in different weather conditions, and the importance of good gear. This was a great opportunity for our international interns to learn about the differences in camping around the world, including weather conditions, interactions with wildlife, and how to pack light for long treks.

Ramakko’s is a key partner with Wild at Heart. Over the coming weeks before Christmas, Ramakko’s will have a table in-store with Wild at Heart products for sale, like our new symbolic adoptions, 2017 memberships, 2017 calendars, suet feeders, bird feeders, and more. Stay tuned for more details on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Interns Enjoy Halloween in Sudbury!

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Many of Wild at Heart’s animal care interns come from around the world to gain invaluable, hands-on experience with wildlife. They gain experience, often for the first time, with the wildlife, while exploring Canada. Right now, Wild at Heart has four animal care interns – two from Spain, one from Canada, and one from Belgium. A great opportunity was available at Dynamic Earth for them to experience a Sudbury tradition – Halloween at Dynamic Earth. Here the interns enjoyed Pumpkinferno and the Tunnel of Terror! Thank you to our volunteer Sue who drove the interns to and from our Centre!

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NOW AVAILABLE – Symbolic Adoptions!

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Symbolic adoptions are a great gift to give for every occasion! This symbolic adoption allows Wild At Heart to complete daily animal care tasks which ensure our Centre runs smoothly and the wildlife in our care are well looked after during their rehabilitation journey. The hundreds of animals that come through our doors each year all require species-specific diets, medication, wound management, and clean cages.  Each adoption kit comes with:

-A personalized adoption certificate (5″x7″)

-An information sheet about the animal your money will support

-A hand-drawn print of the animal, drawn by our animal care interns (5″x7″)

-A letter detailing how your support allows Wild at Heart to continue rehabilitating Northern Ontario’s injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife

To receive your package by post in time for the holidays, please place your order by November 19th, 2016. Pick-up at our Centre (95 White Road, Lively, ON) can also be arranged by calling us at 705-692-4478.

Species available: porcupine, striped skunk, Blanding’s turtle, painted turtle, moose, white-tailed deer, merlin, and common loon. Prices are based on average food and housing costs for each animal, and range from $20-$50.

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Be sure to check out our other new products for 2017: calendars, filled with animal photos and stories from Wild at Heart volunteers, and our new memberships, which grant you access to release photos and videos, our quarterly newsletter, exclusive V.I.P. event invites, and much more.

Turtletastic by Emily Roy

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Turtletastic

by Emily Roy, Wild at Heart volunteer

 

Since it first opened its doors over thirty years ago, Wild at Heart Wildlife Refuge Centre has been a home to hundreds of injured, ill, or orphaned wildlife, from dainty songbirds to clever foxes. One of the most common visitors to Wild at Heart, however, are turtles. Every year, volunteers from various backgrounds work hard to help run this non-profit organization dedicated to keeping the wild wild, and, every year, these volunteers find themselves caring for dozens of these shelly reptiles.

 

Most drivers do not realize they are one of the most common reasons as to why turtles find their way into the care of Wild at Heart and other wildlife refuge centres. Most of these motorists are worried about hitting a deer, and do not realize turtles are yet another animal to watch out for when driving down the highway. When a turtle is hit, their most important method of protection, their shell, can get damaged.

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Figure One: Increase in turtle victims during mating (May-June) and hibernation (September) season using Wild at Heart admission data from 2008-2015.

 

The road to recovering from a cracked shell is a long and tedious one. In the end, it is definitely worth it when the turtle is returned to its natural habitat, ready to face the wilds once more. The common beginning to the story of a turtle’s success is a visit from a vet. The injured area is cleaned to prevent infections and a type of disease known as shell rot, which occurs when unwelcome bacteria festers in the exposed wound and causes the shell plates to soften or fall off, as though they are rotting (Image One).

 

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Image One: Disinfecting a painted turtle’s injuries using a betadine solution. (Photo: Monica Seidel).

 

After disinfecting and dressing the wound, any severe wounds are patched with wire or plate (Image Two). If the crack is small enough, gauze and tape are used. Either way, shells do take time to mend, thus it is important to take care of the turtle to encourage the injuries to heal as quick as possible. A turtle’s tank must always have clean water and an area where the turtle can rest and completely dry off. A heat lamp must always be on as turtles, like all reptiles, are cold-blooded and rely on the sun to warm up. In this case, the sun is a light bulb.

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Image Two: Blanding’s turtle with repair to cracked shell. (Photo: Sam Hunter).

 

Alas, needs can change for each individual turtle, and the methods used vary depending on the veterinarian treating the turtle. It is important to always bring a turtle with a cracked shell to a professional, rather than trying to fix it by oneself.

 

In Northern Ontario, there are three types of turtle native to the wilds that visit Wild at Heart throughout the year. These are the painted turtle, the snapping turtle, and the Blanding’s turtle. Contrary to popular the popular belief that turtles are slow critters, painted turtles leave that stereotype in the dust when a water source is in view. These speedy turtles are named for their distinctive, colourful markings along their shells and skin (Image Three). They are a common turtle throughout North America, and can live for up to 55 years in the wild.

Image Three: Painted turtle basking while recovering at Wild at Heart. (Photo: Kathleen Dicker).

 

When it comes to camouflage, the snapping turtle has that covered. These large turtles spend most of their life underwater, so much so that algae begin to grow on them. This allows them to blend in with their environments, and makes it easier to catch their meal, whether it consists of fish, insects, or even other, smaller, turtles. Snapping turtles can also be dangerous. Their sharp beaks are meant for cutting, not crushing, and they can bite through human fingers (Image Four). Should you ever come across an injured or ill snapping turtle, it is important to contact Wild at Heart to get experienced advice.

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Image Four: Close-up of snapping turtle’s powerful beak. (Photo: Yubi Kuroda).

 

Last but not least is the Blanding’s turtle (Image Five). Unlike most species of turtle in Ontario, the shell of a Blanding’s turtle is shaped like a dome (Image Six). Like many species of turtle, the Blanding’s turtle takes quite a while to reach sexual maturity. In this case, a female Blanding’s turtle can take up to 25 years to fully mature.

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     Image Five: Close-up of a Blanding’s turtle.          

Figure 2cImage Six: Dome-shaped shell of a Blanding’s turtle.

(Photos: Nele van Daele & Sarah Townson).

 

One thing these three species of turtle have in common is they are or are close to being “threatened” in Northern Ontario. Whether it is through habitat loss, road accidents, or natural predators, the populations of these turtles are dwindling. It is important to keep turtles alive and well so future generations can experience their beauty first-hand, rather than by looking at pictures of what once was. Turtles are an important part of the ecosystem, and it is important they stay wild.

 

Wild at Heart Wildlife Refuge Centre
95 White Road, Lively ON P3Y 1C3
705-692-4478 wahrefugecentre.org

 

Read more about turtles here: wahrefugecentre.org/turtle-awareness-campaign-national-wildlife-week/