So today for my school Biology Club we had two amazing guest speakers, Julia and June from Toronto Wildlife Centre (TWC)!!
They did an amazing presentation all about urban wildlife biodiversity; specifically the challenges these animals face and what TWC is doing to help them!!
Everyone enjoyed Julia's amazing power point presentation. She conveyed so much important information while still making it really fun. Her stories were hilarious! For example they brought along this funny looking stuffed toy skunk with a plastic ice cream lid around it's neck. After Julia asked who liked ice cream (everyone's hands went up - duh) she explained that skunks do to!! Apparently TWC once found a real skunk with 8 of these trapped around it's neck! The skunk would stick it's head into the cup to lick out the ice cream left behind and when it was finished find that it couldn't get it's head back out! TWC carefully cut the ice cream lid's off and luckily the skunk was soon back in the wild (hopefully slightly the wiser lol!)
Toronto Wildlife Centre (TWC) is a leader in the field of wildlife rescue, veterinary care, rehabilitation and education, providing a vital and unique service in Southern Ontario. A registered charity supported primarily by donations, TWC has grown into Canada's busiest wildlife centre – since opening in 1993, hundreds of thousands of people have received help on TWC’s Wildlife Hotline, and over 74,000 wild animals representing over 270 different species have been admitted for care. TWC’s work is carried out by a small group of highly skilled paid staff, and several hundred dedicated volunteers working in all areas of the centre, from wildlife care to administration. (http://torontowildlifecentre.com/)
Just a small selection of the variety of animals TWC cares for all the time. You'll notice the snapping turtle on the far right is pretty badly beaten up. Apparently he got run over by a car and TWC was notified by a vet who was going to euthanize him but didn't know how to. TWC took him in, and below is a photo of him about a year later all healed up! The staff at TWC really are hero's!!
It was really interesting to see the different people who all work at TWC. Veterinarians, Veterinary technicians, Rescue staff, Hotline staff, Wildlife care staff, and so many more! Julia told us about the various programs these people studied, but also explained that the one thing all the people had in common was volunteering!
Toronto Wildlife Centre (TWC) is only able to carry out its work thanks to the time, expertise and dedication of hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers are involved in every facet of TWC operations, including administration, education, wildlife rehabilitation and much, much more. (https://torontowildlifecentre.com/volunteers)
It was an amazing inspiring presentation, but Julia and June had one more surprise for everyone....They hadn't come alone! Meet the snapping turtle nicknamed 'Hotdog'!
They explained that Hotdog had been taken out of the wild by someone who didn't know much about turtles. This person had kept him in the house for a few weeks feeding him hot dogs before they realized that snapping turtles don't make good pets. (Unfortunately this story far too familiar to me from stories I hear all the time at Reptilia). Hotdog was taken to TWC but since they don't know where he used to live they can't release him back into the wild encase he carries any diseases which animals in the new area might not be used to. There's also the small problem that he is really tame so if he was out in the wild he'd just walk up to anyone he saw and ask for Hot dogs lol!
I know I'm even more excited than I was before to volunteer there next summer (which is saying something since I've been waiting for it since grade 9! Grin!) Finger's crossed!!!! TWC is definitely on my list of places I would happily work at for the rest of my life!