Found An Injured Animal?
MARS’ local phone number is 250-337-2021. After hours emergency: 250 897-2257.
If you have found an injured animal outside of normal hours, we have a crate for animals in front of the center at 6817 Headquarters Rd, Courtenay, – the phone numbers are there – please let us know there is an animal there immediately. If you do find an animal, keep it warm, dark and quiet until bringing it to us. A pet crate with a blanket over it is ideal, otherwise use a box, with air holes – no wire cages. Keep the animal in a dark, quiet place and do not handle. Please do not give food or water.
The Wildlife Rehabilitators Network of BC has some great advice before you contact MARS.
Too much human contact is a concern when rehabilitating the wildlife we receive at MARS. For this reason we have a number of procedures in place to limit the amount of time we spend with the animals.
We are a rehabilitation centre: the public are not allowed to view our “guests,” automatically reducing potential acclimatization to human presence.
We isolate the animals, out of sight of people and in some cases away from auditory influences as well.
The only contact we have with many of our patients is during brief periods for medication and feeding. Medication is rarely a rewarding experience for them and feeding (especially tubing or force-feeding of solid foods) can also be less than rewarding.
Once the animal starts to get healthy and begins eating on its own, placing food in the cage is done quickly or sometimes administered through a trap door at the edge of the cage (perhaps for this reason we rarely get repeat guests).
We get a large number of baby birds (mostly songbirds) in May and June. Baby birds require feeding every 15 minutes during daylight hours, so limiting human interaction is next to impossible.
Young mammals also require a high level of care time.
Adult birds like corvids are extremely bright, and quick to recognize a “good thing,” so we are particularly diligent when handling them.