What to do

Remember; it is not within the Mandate of the Department of the Environment to rescue injured or orphaned wildlife. Wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release is undertaken by WILDLIFE REHABILITATION FACILITIES (see 4, below), all of which are staffed by volunteers and funded through donations. So you have to become a participant in the rescue of any animal you find.

  1. Stop, look carefully. If it is a bird, look around and note what you see (just so the wildlife rehabilitator has some idea of how the bird got hurt) if it is an animal, do the same. If it is a larger animal, make sure there is no sign of any other animal of the same species in the area.
  2. Check to see if you have a blanket, or a coat or something big enough to cover the animal, check to see if you have gloves. Check to see if you have a box or something to
    carry the animal in.
  3. Contact a wildlife rehabilitation facility:
    Cochrane Ecological Institute (403 932 5632) 
    Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (403 239 2488) www.calgarywildlife.org
    Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (403-946-2361) https://www.aiwc.ca/
    Medicine River Wildlife Centre (403)728-3467 www.medicineriverwildlifecentre.ca
    Wild North, Edmonton (780) 297-3979 www.wildnorth.ca
  4. BEFORE YOU ACT to rescue the animal you have found, think carefully about how you are going to go about rescuing it, plan what you are going to do, and then, act with confidence. This will take a little time but it is time well spent. Following a plan and acting with confidence will keep you safer and will reassure the animal you are handling.
  5. If the animal is lying helpless on the ground: Cover it carefully with a blanket or a coat. Once it is in the dark it is less likely to fight, more likely to relax.
  6. If it is a bird of prey, baby or adult, make sure the cloth/blanket/coat or whatever, covers its feet…the talons of birds of prey are the most dangerous bit of the bird but if they have a good grasp of cloth with their feet and their heads are well covered up it is easy and fairly safe to handle them.
  7. Talk gently to it as you would to a domestic animal, dog/horse.
  8. If the animal appears to be an orphan, LOOK around very carefully before you touch it. Baby bunnies and deer fawns should be left alone (unless you see the mother dead beside the fawn).
  9. Once wrapped in the cloth/blanket/coat/or whatever you have covered it with, pick up the animal and put it in a box.
  10. Do not show the animal to anyone.
  11. Leave the box in a cool dark quiet place until you can get it either to a rehab facility or a rehab facility volunteer can collect it.
  12. Do not worry about feeding the animal.

Some Wildlife We Have

Black Bear Management in Alberta

Following the requirements of the Alberta Wildlife Act and Regulation, the successful rescue, rearing and return to the wild (re-wilding) of orphaned indigenous wildlife, including bear cubs, was undertaken on the government’s behalf and under government permit, but at their own expense, by Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres in Alberta. In 2010, the Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resources Department’s Fish & Wildlife Policy Branch made a decision to prevent the rescue, rearing and re-wilding of a wide range of orphaned indigenous wildlife, including orphaned Black bear cubs in Alberta.

Cochrane Ecological Institute is happy to announce that the Government of Alberta, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) on April 18, 2018, reversed their original decision and released the “Alberta Orphaned Black Bear Cub Rehabilitation Protocol”. The existence of the “Alberta Orphaned Black Bear Cub Rehabilitation Protocol” enables those facilities that have been approved by AEP to once again accept, rear and re-wild orphaned Black bear cubs.

Cochrane Ecological Institute successfully accepted, reared and returned to the wild (re-wilding) orphaned Black bear cubs from 1985 to 2012 and is one of the few facilities in Alberta that has the purpose built enclosures with proven design enabling the successful return of orphaned black bear cubs to their suitable native habitat.

We would like to thank the province of Alberta for their work on this protocol and their acceptance of Black Bear Cub Rehabilitation and re-wilding as a positive Conservation Activity.