HOUSE + HOME
– By Suzanne Soto-Davies
You think you can’t help wildlife?
When Cara Contardi moved to Grimsby in 1996 and
found an injured Yellow Shafted Flicker, little did she know
she had found her life’s calling. In 2008 and after becoming an
Authorized Wildlife Custodian and registering with charitable
status, she started Urban Wildlife Care (UWC). With the
help of three volunteers, Cara immediately began playing
an integral role in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of
our native wildlife.
Today, a team of over 40 professionally trained local
volunteers and professionals, care for approximately 500
animals annually, yet they receive no government funding.
In addition to all her wonderful work and dedication,
Cara works full-time at an animal hospital, which helps for
acquiring the costly supplies and medical care that running
UWC requires. Formula for baby animals costs upward of
$300 dollars per week… and then there’s the cost for specialty
food for other animals, medical care, medications, caging,
cleaning supplies, water and hydro bills, latex gloves/masks
for all volunteers, and the list goes on…
During baby season, UWC handles upwards of forty calls
per day from people who have found injured or orphaned
animals such as squirrels, fox, raccoons, bats and rabbits,
plus answer a ton of email messages asking for advice. Since
UWC is governed by the Ministry of Natural Resources,
there are high amounts of paperwork to complete and rules
to comply by… It’s pain-staking work, and certainly not for
the faint at heart!
Once animals are healed, or old enough and can handle
it, UWC releases them back into the wild – typically to the
same location where they were found.
More articles, recipes & events online: www.silvergoldmagazine.ca