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					Fall 2008       Vol. 29 No. 3         WRA Wildlife Rescue Association of BC                                      ISSN 11188-5106

Urban Garbage: Cleaning Up Our Act                                                  By Glenn J. Boyle, Ph.D., Executive Director

    n August this year, a spate of
    bear sightings in Coquitlam
    culminated in a mother bear
being shot in a suburban
neighbourhood. The following
day, one of the orphaned cubs was
transported to WRA en route to
Critter Care Wildlife Society.
The attending conservation
officer remarked on the cub’s

                                                                                                                                    Photo: Tracy Riddell
rotten teeth and good body

                                                                                                                                  Photo: Tracy Riddell
condition from eating a diet
unnaturally high in sugar.

This young bear, and the
increasing number of reports of                Bungy cords on these garbage bins didn’t prevent this determined bear
bears near human dwellings in the                                 from finding a tempting snack
Lower Mainland, highlight the
ongoing and inherent conflict         at a time of year when they are                          whether it is concentrated in
created by extending our urban        looking to make significant weight                       garbage bins or strewn around
                                                                              Photo credit: Paul

sprawl into rural areas and           gains prior to hibernation, bears                        our communities.
offering free food for inquisitive    foraging on the fringes of human
wildlife. This is neither a new       development will be easily attracted                     Each year, WRA admits plenty of

issue, nor one that is going away.    to a free, calorie-dense meal in                         such wildlife casualties. One of
In recent years, provincial           unsecured garbage. Even if this only
conservation officers have been       happens from time to time, a bear                                          Continued on page 10
killing about 700 black bears         will remember a successful foraging
(Ursus americanus) annually in        location and will return to it,                                Inside To The Rescue
B.C. Almost invariably, these         sometimes repeatedly, in the hope                            Director’s Message            2
animals are habituated to finding     of finding food.
                                                                                                   Education & Outreach          3
easily accessible food in urban
areas, and as their natural fear of   Although bears attract headlines of                          Special Thanks                4
humans dissipates through             their own, they are by no means                              Habitat Garden                5
frequent contact, they are then       the only wild creatures that get into                        Success Stories            6-8
permanently removed as a              trouble from getting into
perceived risk to human safety.       unsecured urban garbage. The same                            Living with
                                      principle applies to other wildlife                          Urban Wildlife                9
Under most circumstances, bears       species, and many animals will fall                          Foster Fur & Feathers 11
are not a threat to humans, but       foul of our discarded waste,

                                                                            WRA Fall 2008           1
                                             Executive Director’s Message
        Fall 2008 Vol. 29 No. 3
                                             Helping Hands Are The Key
         Registered Charity #                By Glenn J. Boyle, Ph.D., Executive Director

   To The Rescue is the newsletter of                    any years ago, as a

                                                                                                                                         Photo credit:Tracy Riddell
  WRA Wildlife Rescue Association of BC                  young       graduate
   and is produced three times a year.
                                                         student studying and
 WRA Wildlife Rescue Association of BC
    provides leadership in the care and      teaching wildlife management at
  rehabilitation of injured, orphaned and    university, I learned that to help
  pollution damaged wildlife, primarily in
 the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
                                             animals you need to help people
         5216 Glencarin Drive                first. As the influence of humans
        Burnaby, BC V5B 3C1                  on the natural world increases,                   Glenn J. Boyle, Executive Director
     Administration: 604.526.2747
      Care Centre: 604.526.7275
                                             this principle will continue to
     Email:           define how effectively we are able             some volunteers are able to make
                                             to help our fellow creatures.                  long-term contributions to WRA
                  Editor                                                                    over many years, helping to run
               Glenn Boyle
         Editorial Committee                 At WRA, helping wildlife is                    and shape the organization, and
        Glenn Boyle, Elaine Pope             about human help too. Our                      to provide a base upon which we
            & Mike Maddison
            Design & Layout                  volunteer personnel and the                    continue to grow and develop.
               Tracy Riddell                 general public are our greatest
       Paul Steeves & Tracy Riddell          allies in treating and transporting            It is always difficult to say
                                             wildlife, and in reducing the need             goodbye to these people when
                                             for animals to be admitted to our              they move on, as their
              President                      Care Centre. This was evident                  enthusiasm, hard work and
             Craig Fisher                    again this year when WRA                       experience are invaluable. On this
            Joanne Petrini                   received more than 1,700 animals               occasion, we bid farewell to Susan
              Treasurer                      during another busy spring and                 Stevens, Dick Tory, Diane Haynes
              Allan Dorff
              Secretary                      summer period (May to August).                 and Barry Price, all of whom have
           Diane Simmons                                                                    contributed many hours and years
    Animal Care Committee Chair
            Liz Thunstrom
                                             WRA’s volunteer group of about                 to WRA. We wish them the very
                                             100 individuals contribute the                 best for the future, and we thank
              Team Leader                    equivalent of approximately                    them and the other many WRA
         Vanessa Law (Interim)               12,000 hours of work during the                volunteers, whose help in the past
             Jackie Ward
         Wildlife Rehabilitators             course of a year. Inevitably, the              and present will sustain us into the
              Kira Baker                     composition of our volunteer                   future.
             Linda Bakker
             Courtney Cox
                                             personnel changes over time, but
            Gabriela Halas
          Wallis Moore-Reid
           Sarah Moulaison
             Marcy Potter
                                                                                                                                    Photo: Sue and Neal Thomas

             Lani Sheldon
         Volunteer Coordinator
             Linda Bakker
          Education Coordinator
            Krystal Brennan

           Executive Director
           Glenn Boyle, Ph.D.
              Tracy Riddell                                   WRA volunteers release a rehabilitated Tundra swan

WRA Fall 2008        2                     
                                   Wildlife Rescue Rehabilitates AND Educates!
           ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
WRA has a joint mission to rehabilitate wildlife and to educate
the community about wildlife issues in the urban environment.
To promote our important work, WRA’s Education Program:

                                                                                                                                                      Photo: Krystal Brennan
        • showcases some of WRA’s remarkable
          patients and cases;
        • reveals how to prevent wildlife injuries
          before they happen;
        • engages people to understand how they can
          co-exist in harmony with wildlife.
Krystal Brennan, WRA’s new Education Coordinator,                 Education presentation
delivers educational modules at schools (K-12), day camps, businesses, and a variety
of community groups and events throughout the Lower Mainland.
       ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
                                                                     Education Modules
                                                         • A Day in the Life of a Wildlife Rehabilitator
                                                               • Co-existing with Urban Wildlife
                                                   • Nests, Wings and Things: Wildlife ID and adaptations
                                                                 • Wildlife Habits and Habitats
                              For more information, or to schedule an education session,visit the updated Education
                                      section of our website at or call 604.526.2747.

                                                                                                                       WRA Board Member
                                         Hosted by
                              2008 Burnaby Lake Rubber Ducky                                                         Many thanks to retired board
                              Half Marathon, 7 Miler and Kids Run                                                    members Susan Stevens and
                                             Sunday, October 19th, 2008                                              Shannon Begg for their generous
                                       Get fit, have fun, and help WRA raise funds!                                  contributions to WRA.

                                                                                                                     Susan Stevens served as the
                                                                                                                     Recording Secretary and Member
                                                                                                                     of the WRA Executive Committee
Photo credit:Paul Steeves

                                                                                                                     since 2000. Over the years, Susan
                                                                                                                     has organized or particpated in a
                                                                                              Photo: Tracy Riddell

                                                                                                                     number of projects and com-
                                                                                                                     munity outreach events to raise
                                                                                                                     funds for WRA’s wildlife rehab-
                                                                                                                     ilitation and education programs.
                            Harry Bloy, MLA (centre) joins Glenn Boyle, WRA Executive Director (right)
                              and Mitchell Hudson, Try Events (left) to support this 3rd Annual Event                Shannon Begg served as Director-
                The 13.1 mile and 7 mile courses circle the trails of                                                at-Large since 2006. Shannon’s
               Burnaby Lake Regional Park, giving participants many                                                  sales, marketing and customer
               opportunities to enjoy this stunning wildlife sanctuary.                                              service experience was a great asset
         For event details visit: Register online                                            to her fundraising chair position at
                 with the                           and receive a $10 Running Room coupon.                           WRA.

                                                                                                   WRA Fall 2008                3
                        In Memory                                                              Special Thanks
                     Hannelore Frohloff
                                                                                 ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
                   Gordon Anderson Hall
                            Kit Kat                                              • Dr.Lim, After Hours Pet Hospital: Donated
                       Mildred Martin                                            medical equipment and supplies from his closing
                        Tamara Mitter                                            veterinary practice. Thank you to WRA volunteers
                        Dennis Newby                                             Babak, Nel, Sue & Neal, Rosanne, Scott and Shirles

                                                                                                                                                     Photo credit: Tracy Riddell
      Simone (a lovely cat and longtime family member)                           who helped with the move.

                                                                                 • Linda Saunders and Don Stacheruk:
                                                                                 Donated numerous Care Centre Wish List items.

                                                                                 • Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Donated
                                                                                 computer laptops.

                                                                                 • Service Canada & Bill Siksay, MP- Canada
                                                                                 Summer Jobs: Provided funding and support for
                                                                                 summer student staff.
                                                           Photo: Paul Steeves   • Telus: Donated $6,078 via the Dollars for Dollars
                                                                                 2007 TELUS team member charitable giving program.

                                                                                 • Vancouver Coastal Health (Three Bridges
                                                                                 Community Health Centre): Donated medical
 Employees of Sage Software in Richmond made a difference at                     • Volunteer Groups (BC Hydro, King David
 WRA by volunteering one day of their time (and labour) to a                     High School and Sage Software): Participated
                   site maintenance project                                      in one-day volunteer projects at WRA.

                                                                                              Care Centre Wish List
                                                                                   Food Supplies                  Medical/Technical
                                                                                   ♦Eggs                          Supplies
                                                                                   ♦Fresh fruits and              ♦Distilled water
                                                                                    vegetables (call first)       ♦Latex/Nitrile exam gloves
                                                                                   ♦Frozen berries
                                                                                   ♦Frozen fish
                                                                                                                  Outdoor Supplies
                                                                                                            ♦Astroturf/Daisy Mats for
                                                                                   ♦White millet
                                                                                                             covering perches
                                                                                                            ♦Greenery (evergreen)
                                                                                   Household Items          ♦Hose splitters/nozzles
                                                                                   ♦Baking/cooking timers ♦Pool thermometers
                                                                                   ♦Bleach 5L, unscented     (fast-acting)
                                                                                   ♦Dawn dishwashing        ♦Portable pool vacuum
                                                                                    soap, regular           ♦Rubber boots (women’s
                                                                                   ♦Food dehydrator          sizes 7-9)
                                                                                   ♦Industrial size garbage ♦Wood chipper
                                                                                   ♦Laundry soap,
                                                                                                            ♦Canadian Tire money
                                                                                   ♦Plastic spray bottles
                                                                                                            ♦Digital camera with
                                                                                   ♦Portable WaterPik
                                                                                                             docking station
                                                                                   ♦Sieve (fine)
                                                                                                            ♦High definition web cams
                                                                                   ♦Toothbrushes (new)
                                                                                                            ♦Mosquito netting/
                                                                                     Check our website for a more extensive medical supplies list.

WRA Fall 2008       4                    
Green Thumbs Up For New Garden Coordinator
By Glenn J. Boyle, Ph.D., Executive Director
                       For many                recognised when the area was                 rewarding task of maintaining and
                       years,                  designated as a Naturescape                  rejuvenating the garden area. For
                       W R A’s                 Garden by the Province of B.C.               the future, in addition to looking
                       Wildlife                and certified as a Wildlife Habitat          to recruit regular garden
                       Habitat                 Garden by the U.S. National                  volunteers, Paulette has enlisted
                       Garden has              Wildlife Federation.                         the help of gardening experts from
                       provided a                                                           the Society for Organic Urban
                       safe haven              Earlier this year, Cynthia passed on         Land Care (SOUL), who will
                       for wild                her duties as Garden Coordinator             advise and assist with the
                       animals, as             to Paulette Tercier, who took on             introduction of sustainable,
  Paulette gardening   well as a               the role in addition to her                  organic gardening practices and
                       quiet re-               volunteer duties in the Care                 the addition of more native plant
treat for WRA’s visitors to learn              Centre. Her strong background in             species to support local wildlife.
about wildlife-friendly gardening              earth sciences (geology and
and to enjoy wildlife viewing.                 environmental geophysics),                   WRA would like to sincerely
This wildlife sanctuary was                    combined with a love of gardening            thank Cynthia for her previous
created under the supervision of               and outdoor pursuits, are a perfect          work on the gardens, and we bid
Cynthia Picker, past WRA                       match for the task ahead.                    a warm welcome to Paulette – we
President, whose passion and                                                                look forward to enjoying the fruits
efforts to create a prime wildlife             Paulette wasted no time this                 of her labour (and not just the
habitat at WRA were formerly                   summer in tackling the huge but              apple pies!).

                                                            a helicopter
        * The Wildlife Thrift Store is independently owned and operated, and not managed by the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC

                                                                           WRA Fall 2008             5
Success Stories
White-winged Scoter Propels
To Recovery By Tracy Riddell, Administrator
In the late spring, a white-             cream applied to the
winged scoter (Melanitta fusca)          open area twice
was transferred to WRA’s care            daily. Once the skin

                                                                                                                      Photo: Tracy Riddell
facility from Coast Mountain             surrounding the
Veterinarian Services in Whistler.       wound had become
It was found lying in the middle         sufficiently pliable,
of a road in Pemberton, with a           WRA’s veterinarian
large open wound on the back of          performed a medical
the head. As scoters live primarily      procedure under           White-winged scoter recovering in an outdoor enclosure
on coastal waters, it is likely that               to
                                         sedation M remove
a boat propeller caused the injury.      the dead tissue and pull the edges
This large, black diving duck was        of the wound completely                 summer, where it will again be
lucky to have made it to land,           together.                               able to forage for freshwater
where it could be captured and                                                   invertebrates and molluscs, and
treated.                                 The scoter recovered remarkably         breed within its species’ range
                                         well, and was soon eating,              across northern Canada and
For the first two weeks in care,         swimming and diving in an               Alaska.
the scoter’s head wound was              outside enclosure. It was released
treated with a special antibiotic        in the Pemberton area in the

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

Skunk Survives Garbage
Woes By Krystal Brennan, Education Coordinator
Striped skunks (Mephitis                 Subsequent
mephitis) are common scavengers          treatment included
of human food waste. Un-                 fluid therapy for
                                                                                                                      Photo: Tracy Riddell
fortunately, our garbage is not a        dehydration, and
healthy source of food for any           flushing of the
wild animal, and it can also present     wound with sterile
other hazards.                           saline several times a
                                         day. Despite the                Infant skunk with plastic six-pack holder
In July, a skunk was admitted to         severity of the                     caught around neck and front leg
WRA with a plastic six-pack drink        wound, the skunk’s
holder caught around his neck and        response in care was positive and
front leg. The strained plastic had      it quickly began to eat and drink This incident is a reminder that
cut deeply into the skunk’s skin,        which significantly improved its our garbage can seriously harm
causing a large, infected wound.         prognosis. The skunk’s wounds wildlife. More information about
The six-pack holder was carefully        responded well over the next co-existing with animals is in the
removed and, to the relief of            several days and within weeks the cut-out “Living With Urban
everyone at WRA, the skunk               patient was ready to be moved to Wildlife” on page 9 of this issue.
remained calm and restrained from        an outdoor enclosure with pro-
spraying during the procedure!           spects for release in the Fall.

WRA Fall 2008       6                 
Swallow’s Brush With Chemical
Cocktail By Vanessa Law, Team Leader (Interim) of Wildlife Rehabilitation
Towards the end of summer, the            has a syrupy consistency, and the
WRA care team must be very                yellow substance was believed
aware of the migratory birds that         to be sulphur.
come into our care. If a bird
misses the chance to migrate with         Other than the chemicals
others of its kind, it faces the          soiling its feathers, the bird was
likelihood of over-wintering in the       in good body condition with
Care Centre.                              no apparent injuries. The

                                                                                Photo: Paul Steeves
                                          swallow was given a spot wash
In early August, a Northern               after two days to remove the
rough-winged swallow (Stelgid-            contaminants, and the foll-
opteryx serripennis) – an uncom-          owing day the bird was assessed
mon species at WRA – was                  to have good flight and to be
admitted from the Pacific Coast           ready to return to the wild.                                       Rough-winged swallow
Terminals in Port Moody. The
bird’s wing tips and tail were            Without delay, a quick release was
soiled with two unknown                   organized at Iona, where the                                migration to Central and South
chemicals. The sticky substance           swallow joined others actively                              America.
looked like ethylene glycol, which        feeding in preparation for their

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

Purple Martin Fostered Out
By Lani Sheldon, Wildlife Rehabilitator
In late July, WRA received a              reintroduction of swallow

                                                                                                                                         Photo: Tracy Riddell
nestling purple martin (Progne            species to the wild, WRA
subis) from the breeding colony at        works with local nat-
Blackie Spit on the eastern shore         uralists in an active
of Boundary Bay.                          fostering program.

The abandoned nestling was cold,          Within two weeks of
                                                                                                         Fledgling purple martin
lethargic and dehydrated when it          being admitted to WRA,
arrived at WRA. After treatment,          the martin was banded and
the martin’s condition stabilized         successfully fostered to a suitable                         This recovery has been possible
and it began to rapidly gain weight,      nest at the more successful Iona                            due to the work of local
doubling its body mass in 10 days.        colony.                                                     stewardship groups, who have
                                                                                                      constructed and monitored coastal
Like swallows, martins need to            Over the last two decades, the                              nest boxes, and banded and
learn how to feed ‘on the wing’,          threatened western arboricola                               monitored nestlings at colonies.
and young birds fostered into             subspecies of purple martin has
healthy, thriving nests learn these       recovered from less than 10                                 For more information on the BC Purple
natural behaviours quickly. To            breeding pairs in the early 1980s                           Martin Stewardship and Recovery Program
maximize the chances of successful        to more than 650 pairs in 2007.                             visit (

                                                                                   WRA Fall 2008          7
Success Stories
Hammond’s Flycatcher
Survives Cat Attack
By Tracy Riddell, Administrator
The Hammond’s flycatcher                  bird’s injuries were
(Empidonax hammondii) is a small          cleaned and sutured

                                                                                                                          Photo: Paul Steeves
grey and whitish bird that breeds         under sedation.
in coniferous forests of western
North America during the                  The flycatcher re-
summer. This species is not               covered well from
commonly seen at WRA, but in              the procedure, im-
                                                                                    Hammond’s flycatcher
mid-June the Care Centre received         proving steadily over
a flycatcher that had sustained           the next few weeks,
wounds from a cat attack.                 readying for release later in the

                                                                                                                          Photo credit:Tracy Riddell
                                                                                   WRA. Unfortunately, these figures
                                          summer. Eventually, the flycatcher       represent only a small fraction of
Upon admission, the flycatcher            will migrate south to take refuge        the wild animals thought to be lost
was very stressed, unable to stand        in Mexico for the winter.                to predation from free-roaming
and soiled with blood. Further                                                     domestic and feral cats each year.
assessment revealed a small               WRA regularly receives birds that
puncture wound and a laceration           have been victims of cat attacks.
deep into the muscle tissue on its        In 2007, cats had injured about
right side. Once stabilized, the          10% of the birds admitted to
○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

Mink Shifts Gears
By Marcy Potter, Wildlife Rehabilitator
In early August, an American              the next few days, the

                                                                                                                      Photo: Tracy RiddellRiddell
mink (Mustela vison) was brought          mink continued to
to the Care Centre from Pitt              receive medication

                                                                                                                       Photo credit: Tracy
Meadows. He was found lying in            and, as his rapid
the middle of the road, his injuries      recovery gained pace,
consistent with being hit by a car.       he was reassessed and
The mink’s initial condition was          given the green light
considered to be critical, and so         to be released back
he received an immediate steroid          into the wild. This                      American mink in care
injection to reduce central nervous       was one of the fastest
system trauma (including                  recoveries from being hit by a car       taking a wide variety of aquatic
potential swelling of the brain)          that I’ve ever seen!                     and terrestrial prey.
caused by the impact, and he was
treated for abrasions on the nose         Mink are semi-aquatic members
and lacerations on the lips.              of the weasel family that are
                                          widespread in North America.
Amazingly, the mink became alert          They are active and opportunistic
and mobile in just 3 hours! Over          hunters on land and in water,

WRA Fall 2008          8               
                                       World Rivers Day                                             LIVING WITH
                                                                                                  URBAN WILDLIFE
                                   Sunday, September 28, 2008
                                                                                                We share our envir-
                            FREE WRA Presentation and Trail Tour!
                                                                                                onment with a variety
                                                                                                of animals. A few
      Participants are invited to meet at WRA for a one-hour event that                         sensible precautions
      includes a presentation and trail tour focusing on wildlife                               can mean the diff-
      rehabilitation and habitats. Space is limited so please pre-register                      erence between life and death to our
      by phoning our administration at 604.526.2747 or emailing our                             wild friends.
      Education Coordinator (
                                                                                                     YOUR GARBAGE
                                                                                                Your garbage is a tempting treat for
                                                                                                neighbourhood wildlife. Unfortunately
                                                                                                the food we eat is not always healthy
                                                                                                for animals and it also encourages

                                                                                                                                   Photo credit: Tracy Riddell
                                                                                                dependency. Plastics and other
                                                                                                materials can be hazardous to wild-
                                                                                                life. Here are some ways to help:
                                                                                                • Use wildlife-proof garbage bins
Photo: Paul Steeves

                                                                                                • Rinse tins and containers of food
                                                                                                • Wrap up broken glass
                                                                                                • Wash cooking twine and cut it up
                                                                                                • Cut up plastic six-pack holders
                                                                                                • Recycle oils or dispose of them in
                                                                                                  sealed containers
                               Cedar waxwings and black-headed grosbeak in care                         YOUR YARD
                                                                                                • Keep your yard clear of fallen fruit
                                                                                                and seed sticks.
                        Introducing Jane Ray’s Wildlife Series!                                 • With the exception of bird seed or
                      Partial proceeds of book sales will help wildlife at WRA                  other natural vegetation, do not feed
              Ever wonder what Nancy Drew might have done                                       the wildlife!
                                                                      Titles in the series:
              about the Exxon Valdez oil spill? The impending                                   • Ensure small mammals are unable
                                                                         • Flight or Fight
              threat of West Nile Virus? Wild animals kept in                                   to get into your home prior to
                                                                         • Crow Medicine
              captivity? Well, wonder no more! Jane Ray’s                                       denning season. Block off any holes
                                                                       • Gaia Wild (New!)
              Wildlife Rescue Series, published by Whitecap                                     or entrances with 1cm x 1cm wire
              Books Ltd. and written by Diane Haynes, starts                                    mesh. Watch those staircases and
                                                                       Age Range: 10 -15
              with the familiar adventure novel format and then                                 patios!
              goes wild! Set in Vancouver and based on the
                                                                       Price: $9.50 each                 YOUR PETS
              author’s real-life experiences in animal rescue
                                                                         (taxes included)       Cats are efficient hunters. Up to 20%
              and rehabilitation, the series tells the story of one
                                                                      Books are available for   of nestlings and fledglings brought
              young girl’s fight to make a difference in the world
                                                                        purchase at WRA         in to wildlife rehabilitation centres
              on behalf of the animals she loves.                                               have been severely injured by cats.
                                                                                                Free-roaming cats can pick up life
                                                                                                threatening diseases and are also
                                                                                                vulnerable as prey to wildlife such
                                                                                                as coyotes. Help protect your cat
                                                                                                and wildlife around your house by
                                                                                                keeping your cat indoors. If you do
                                                                                                have an outdoor cat, here are some
                                                                                                ways to help reduce risks:
                                                                                                • Spay or neuter your cat
                                                                                                • Feed cats indoors
                                                                                                • Remove bird feeders

                                                                             WRA Fall 2008          9
Urban Garbage: Cleaning Up Our Act                                                   (Continued from page 1)

this year’s most notable                           Photo: Tracy Riddell                          house leaving unsecured
and distressing examples                                                                         garbage in a neighbour-
was a young skunk                                                                                hood is enough to attract
wearing a discarded                                                                              wildlife, and one angler
plastic six-pack holder.                                                                         discarding line in a lake can
Over time, as the                                                                                affect many animals over
youngster had grown, the                                                                         long periods.
plastic harness had
tightened around the                                                                           Of course, urban garbage
upper torso and head,                                                                          is not just a problem for
cutting into the flesh                                                                         wildlife. With our landfills
around the armpit and                                                                          struggling to cope with the
neck creating open                                                                             mountains of refuse that
wounds and infection                                                                           we generate, we need to
(see Skunk Survives                                                                            consider whether some of
Garbage Woes on p. 6).                                                                         the proposed methods –
                                                                                               such as increasing the
Such entanglements are                                                                         number and size of
seen regularly at WRA,                                                                         landfills, exporting our
but they are not restricted                                                                    waste abroad, or burning
to certain species or                                                                          it – offer long-term
situations. Discarded                                                                          solutions to the problem.
plastics in particular can                                                                     As we ponder these
have indiscriminate                                                                            options, perhaps we
effects on many species                                                                        should also be taking a
of wildlife. Already this                                                                      closer look at what we
                                       Orphaned bear cub being transported to WRA
year, WRA has received                   en route to Critter Care Wildlife Society             throw away and how to
entangled patients from                                                                        manage its disposal
16 species of bird and                                                                         responsibly            and
mammal – from sparrows to                 we do today has long-term                     sustainably. Hopefully, during
herons, rabbits to raccoons. In           impacts on wildlife and our urban             this process, we will clean up our
many cases, without human                 environment. A bear learning                  act by ensuring that we dispose
intervention, these entanglements         from its mother to raid unsecured             of our garbage safely, for
would lead to a range of injuries         garbage for food will not forget              everyone’s sake.
and disabilities, and often would         quickly, and an unforgiving
result in a protracted and painful        plastic line stretched taut around
death. Many of these discarded            an animal’s torso or leg will                 For more information on dealing with
materials, especially plastics, do not    perhaps never be parted from its              bears in urban environments, visit the
degrade easily, and their persistence                                                   Get Bear Smart Society website
                                                                                        ( For tips on keeping
in the environment creates a                                                            garbage safe from wildlife see page 9, and
cumulative problem over time.             Clearly the many problems that                the Education pages of WRA’s website
                                          urban garbage creates for wildlife            (
Part of the solution to keeping           can be removed if the whole
bears out of our garbage and              community acknowledges and
skunks out of plastic six-pack            accepts responsibility for the
holders is the knowledge that what        consequences of its actions. One

WRA Fall 2008        10                 
Foster Me!
Black-headed Grosbeak
By Linda Bakker, Wildlife Rehabilitator & Volunteer Coordinator
This colourful black-headed                                 started. In the first few
grosbeak (Pheucticus melan-                                 days he lost a sig-
ocephalus) was found on a patio                             nificant amount of

                                                                                                                                    Photo: Paul Steeves
in Port Moody in August. Lying                              weight and remained
still, but making lots of noise, it                         unable to fly. Further
was picked up and brought in by                             examination revealed
one of our volunteers.                                      a fractured keel
                                                            (breast-bone). The
This young male had good body                               grosbeak was moved                     Black-headed grosbeak
condition and was active, if unable                         into a smaller en-
to fly, but blood around the beak                           closure to minimize mobility and        keel time to heal, the grosbeak has
and one eye with no pupil                                   to give the keel a chance to heal.      started to fly. Soon he will be
response were consistent with a                                                                     moved to an outside enclosure,
window collision. Based on these                            With medication to treat for            where he can gain strength prior
symptoms, treatment for central                             parasites, this bird’s weight should    to release.
nervous system trauma was                                   begin to increase. After giving the

Foster Fur & Feathers
                                                              My contribution to foster care:
                                                                $25    Bushtit                     $50 Pied-billed Grebe
                                                                $25    Pine Siskin                 $50 Pileated Woodpecker
                                                                $25    Northwestern Crow         $100 Snowshoe Hare
                                      Photo: Paul Steeves

                                                                $35    Varied Thrush             $100 Striped Skunk
                                                                $35    Violet-green Swallow      $150 Barred Owl
                                                                $35    Black-headed Grosbeak     $150 Raccoon
                                                                $40    Douglas Squirrel          $250 By Paul Swan
                                                                                             Photographed Tundra Steeves
                                                                $40    Bufflehead                $250 American Beaver
    WRA staff member feeds infant                                         Printed Certificate       Electronic Certificate
         American beaver
                                                              My name: _______________________________________
By becoming a Foster Fur and
                                                                  Address: ______________________________________
Feathers sponsor, you are joining
                                                                  City/Prov./Postal Code: ___________________________
our efforts to save an injured or
orphaned animal. Consider giving                                  Phone: _____________ Email: ____________________
a gift of caring to yourself or to                            If this is a gift:
someone you know. Each fosterer                                   Name(s) on certificate: ___________________________
receives a Foster Certificate with                                Address: ______________________________________
a photograph and educational                                      City/Prov./Postal Code: ___________________________
information about the sponsored                                   Phone: _____________ Email: ____________________
animal. You may choose either a                                                       Cheque     Cash
printed certificate, which will be                                        Visa    Mastercard     American Express
mailed to you or to your gift
                                                                  Card #: ________________________________________
recipient, or an electronic
                                                                  Expiry: ______________ Total amount: ______________
certificate if you wish to save
                                                            Please make cheques payable to: Wildlife Rescue Association of BC,
                                                             5216 Glencarin Drive, Burnaby, BC V5B 3C1, Admin: 604.526.2747

                                                                                WRA Fall 2008        11
Wildlife Rescue Association of BC
5216 Glencarin Drive
Burnaby BC
V5B 3C1

Yes, I want to support WRA
                                   Wildlife Rescue Association of BC respects the

                                                                                                 Photo: Paul Steeves
I wish to make a donation:
One time…………$______                support of all our donors; we do not trade or sell our
Monthly…………...$______              donors’ names.
(post dated cheques/credit card)
                                   Registered charity # 131373490RR0001

I wish to become a member:         Name:_________________________________________
                                   Address: ______________________________________
                                   City/Prov.: _____________________________________
                                   Postal Code: ___________ Phone: _________________
         Gift Membership           Email: _________________________________________
   Individual - $25/year
   Family/couple - $35/year        My cheque for $________ is enclosed or,
   Senior/student - $15/year       please charge my:     Visa  Mastercard     American Express
   Life - $250                     Card#: _________________________ Expiry date: ________
   Business - $250/year            Total amount: _____________ Signature: ________________
   Business life - $1,000          Age: 16-20         21-29     30-59      60+
            Donations/memberships are tax deductible. Please make cheque payable to:
           Wildlife Rescue Association of BC, 5216 Glencarin Drive, Burnaby, BC V5B 3C1
Request for information: I would like information on:
      Volunteer Opportunities        Planned Giving: Leaving a Legacy for Wildlife

WRA Fall 2008     12