Go Wild on Earth Day!

Posted April 21, 2019 by shantal

Happy Earth Day! Started in 1970, Earth Day was envisioned as a way to demonstrate support and motivate action for a healthy, sustainable environment.

Wildlife Rescue believes passionately in this vision. We believe each wild animal deserves our respect and that it is incumbent upon each of us to help prevent harm to wildlife and to protect wild animals in their natural environment.

Last month, a horrifically injured Glaucous-winged gull was brought to our hospital with fishing line entangled around its tongue and neck. By the time it was able to be captured and brought to us, the damage was too great and the most we could do was end its suffering humanely. This was a devastating loss for our staff, volunteers, and for the caring individual who brought the animal to us.

Another avoidable injury that our hospital has seen more than once is when a young skunk is brought in with a plastic drink lid slowly choking its airway after getting its head stuck and unable to free itself. Thankfully, those that are found and brought to us generally have a happy ending.   

Photo by: North Shore News

Among the many challenges urban and suburban wildlife face, getting stuck—whether in fencing, leftover food and drink containers, garden netting, soccer nets, even hammocks—is one of the most difficult to survive without early intervention from human helpers.

So what can you do?

Well, as famed anthropologist, Margaret Read, once said,

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Here are a few things you can do to make a difference this Earth Day and become a hero to wildlife for years to come!

Take the Lid Off!

  • Simple. Once you’re done enjoying your frappé, latte, macchiato or bubble tea, take the lid off. Animals get stuck when they push their head through the hole to try to reach the sweet leftovers in the bottom of the cup. So, pop the lid off the cup before you throw in the trash or recycle bin.

Stow it away!

  • When not in use, put soccer nets, volleyball nets, hammocks and other recreational equipment in the garage or another storage space. If something can’t be moved, try tying bright fabric or a ribbon to it—something that animals with good night vision can clearly see.

Patch it up!

  • Patch up any holes around the exterior of your home that attract bird species for nesting during spring. But be cautious and check first – you don’t want to trap bird or animal babies already inside!


  • Lovingly toiling over your garden for hours means you want to protect the fruits of your labour from nibbling wildlife. However, small animals and birds can get hopelessly entangled in trellis and lawn netting and wound themselves or dehydrate and die. Consider alternatives such as flash tape, motion-detecting sprinklers, or wooden trellises.

Your individual actions DO make a difference.  5 years ago, at Wildlife Rescue hospital, we were seeing quite a few animals injured by the plastic six pack beer and soda pop rings. Thanks to a concerted effort by animal and environmental groups, and with fantastic coverage by the media, people got the message to cut the holes before discarding or recycling. Now, it is rare for us to see animals trapped in them.

We hope that on this Earth Day, you join us in taking care of our wildlife by making personal changes to protect our environment!   

Contact us!

If you encounter any of these cases, whether you think it’s an emergency or simply want some information, please contact us at our helpline at 604-526-7275.  

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