Behind the Not-For-Profit: Wildlife Rescue Association of BC
Wildlife Rescue Association Celebrating 40 years of helping wildlife!
What is the Wildlife Rescue Association of British Columbia?
Wildlife Rescue Association of British Columbia (WRA) is a registered charity and a federally and provincially permitted wildlife rehabilitation centre located in Burnaby, BC. Injured, orphaned and pollution-impacted wildlife from throughout BC come to Wildlife Rescue to receive professional, species-specific care.
Since 1979, WRA has treated more than 110,000 animals from across BC and throughout western Canada, while continually raising the rehabilitation standards and practices for affiliated professions, through education, training, and partnerships.
Up to 5,000 animals per year are admitted to Wildlife Rescue from across the province, an average of 14 animals per day. This represents an increase of 44 percent from ten years ago. Wildlife Rescue’s hospital and rehabilitation facilities, located in Burnaby, BC, were originally built to care for up to 1,200 animals annually.
In addition to treatment and rehabilitative care, Wildlife Rescue responds to more than 18,000 Helpline calls annually from the public, an increase of 70 percent in the past three years alone. These numbers far exceed any other wildlife rescue organization in western Canada.
How long have you been serving wildlife in our community?
Wildlife Rescue Association of BC is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and grateful for volunteers and donors who are the heart of the organization from the humble beginnings. Wildlife Rescue looks forward to continuing the exceptional work we do to provide care to the growing demand of injured and orphaned wildlife.
How did Wildlife Rescue get started?
July 1979: Members of the public had nowhere to turn when they found a wild animal in distress. Seeing the need, a group of individuals formed the Lower Mainland Wildlife Rescue Association. Some of the founders included Dan Mulligan, Jeff Lawson, David Jackson, Joley Aldam-Switzer, Linda Chandler and Rose McGavin.
May 1980: The Lower Mainland Wildlife Rescue Association opens its doors at the Nature House on the north shore of Burnaby Lake for the summer months, with three part-time staff and several volunteers. Just under 200 animals were admitted.
1982: As word spreads, more people turn to Wildlife Rescue when they find animals in distress. Annual patients increase to 800 animals, of which a large proportion are birds.
1984: Mike Suzuki is hired as the first full-time employee, in the role of facility coordinator
1985: The Association is renamed to WRA Wildlife Rescue Association of BC and is now opened year-round.
1987: Wildlife Rescue moves to its current site on Glencarin Drive. Initially, patients are housed in the administration building. The hospital building, and first aviaries were built with support from Chevron Canada, Ltd.