Baby animals are showing up at Critter Care in greater numbers this year as people find them in their back yards. (Brandon Dean/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Baby animals flood into B.C.’s Critter Care wildlife shelter

The shelter is also in need of toilet paper, gloves, and bleach

Langley’s Critter Care Wildlife Society has seen a big increase in injured or abandoned animals in the last month, possibly because people are home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Volunteers and staff at the centre, located in Campbell Valley Regional Park in South Langley, had hoped there might be fewer animals needing their help this spring, with fewer drivers on the roads or people going into the back country, said Cayce Anderson, the animal care supervisor.

However, the opposite happened.

“We’re actually up about 50 admissions more than the same time last year,” Anderson said.

Everyone is out gardening on their property now that they’re stuck at home, apparently.

“They’re coming across bunnies and squirrels in their yard,” she said.

Critter Care takes in young animals separated from their mothers, as well as injured wild animals, with the aim or rehabilitating and eventually releasing them back into their natural habitat.

The extra animals coming in are small for the most part and there is room for them, but Critter Care has barely avoided a shortage of staffing.

The international travel bans caused by COVID-19 meant a number of new interns who were scheduled to start couldn’t come from overseas, said Anderson.

READ MORE: Delays and cancellations – how Langley animal agencies are dealing with COVID-19

Fortunately, there are people locally who have stepped up to take their places. Some of them are stuck in Canada and out of work right now.

“Luckily, there were animal lovers in that group of people,” Anderson said.

Rabbits and squirrels are the majority of animals coming in now, but other animals will become more common as baby season progresses.

“We’ve just had our first baby raccoons,” said Anderson. Next will be skunks, otters, and beavers.

The shelter staff are still hoping that there will be fewer bears, with fewer people going into provincial parks and the forests, Anderson said.

“Really, really hope so,” she said.

Especially because Critter Care still has 29 bears from last year waiting to be old enough to be released.

With access to provincial parks shut down, Critter Care hasn’t yet determined how releases will take place, but they work with the B.C. Conservation Service, so Anderson is hopeful that won’t be a problem.

The coronavirus is making an impact on the group in other ways, she said.

The biggest fundraiser for Critter Care, an annual gala evening, was at first postponed to May, but has now been cancelled.

“That’s a massive, massive hit,” to the group’s finances, said Anderson.

Then there’s the shortage of toilet paper and paper towels – items Critter Care goes through in massive quantities keeping baby animals clean, along with gloves.

Donations from local suppliers and grocers have kept them going with bleach and gloves, but Anderson said the shelter would gratefully accept donations of TP, paper towels, or other needed items.

The gates are staying closed at the shelter – it does not normally accept visitors anyway – but anything can be dropped off there daily. Donors are asked to call Critter Care at 604-530-2054 if they are leaving perishable items.

The shelter is located at 481 216th Street.

AnimalsCoronavirusLangleyWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SIMPSON: For real leadership amid crisis, look west of Scott Road

Delta council, under direction of Mayor George Harvie, defines leadership during pandemic

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at Peace Arch Park ‘oasis’

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Cloverdale businessman funds wells in Cambodia

Revive Washing in Clayton Heights donates three per cent of profits to charity

Cloverdale youth pastor’s sexual-assault sentencing delayed

Samuel Emerson due to return to Surrey Provincial Court in August

More than 200 Surrey playgrounds re-opening

City announces eight skate parks to re-open as well

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Pregnant B.C. woman catches COVID-19 days before giving birth

Michelle Hunter said it was like a horror movie when caught COVID-19

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

Aldergrove drive-in theatre to reopen at 50-vehicle capacity, gets green light on concession

100 cars of people will now watch films, hoping to adhere to new provincial health 50-car capacity

Fraser Health takes charge of COVID response at Langley Lodge

Fraser Health is also sending in a germ-killing machine to fight the virus

Most Read