For one weekend every year, Critter Care Wildlife Society opens its doors to give people a chance to meet some of their furry patients before they get rehabilitated into the wild.
“People will get to take a peak at a few of our animals like raccoons, skunks, and beavers,” assistant executive director Winona Reinsma explained. “No bears though. People always come expecting to see our bear cubs but they won’t be open to the public.”
Critter Care is a non-profit organization that has taken in injured animals for 30 years from the all across B.C., including coyotes, otters, and yes, plenty of bears.
“We are a working facility, not a zoo,” Reinsma explained “But this is a fundraiser where people get to see what we do and kids can learn about these animals and respecting nature.”
Their annual open house welcomes animal lovers and society supporters Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Both days include live entertainment, vendors and booths such as the North Shore Black Bear Society, and a barbecue hosted by Remax.
“There will be guided tours which are included with the $5 admission fee,” Reinsma said. “The tours fill up fast so people shoulder register as soon as they get to the event.”
Natalie Crawford, a volunteer who will be grilling up hot dogs and hamburgers said she wanted to get involved because of the work Critter Care has done over the years.
“I heard stories about animals getting kicked out of their homes because of development or wildfires,” Crawford said.
“There are so many animals in Langley that are being moved from homes. Critter Care is the only one really doing anything to help.”
Crawford said she also picked up a cage from Critter Care, an opportunity anyone can seize in case they find an injured animal that can be transported to the society for treatment.
“We take in injured or orphaned babies because it really comes down to the lack of understanding how important they are to our ecosystem,” said Reinsma. “They have learned to co-exist with us, but we haven’t learned to co-exist with them.”
The open house is one of Critter Care’s biggest fundraisers of the year, with all proceeds going towards day-to-day operations at the facility.
“We are accepting cash donations,” Reinsma explained, “but people can also bring tissue, toilet paper, or blankets. We are always in need of paper products of keep the cages and the animals clean.”
Critter Care Wildlife Society is located at 481 216 street. Children under 12 are free and attendees are advised to bring cash as there is no ATM or Interac machines on site.
For more information on the open house and what the society does, people can visit www.crittercarewildlife.org.
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