Wide-eyed curious critters of all shapes, sizes, and sad backstories now fill a Merville wildlife rescue.
“You never know what you’re going to get,” Manager of Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society’s (MARS) animal hospital Jill Andersen said.
Most of the animals, including raccoons and fawns, are orphans and have come to MARS from the top of the North Island right through the Comox Valley.
They were all found by kind-hearted people who know MARS brings animals back from the brink for another chance at life.
Jo Stiles with MARS says a young trumpeter swan in their care was believed to be dead when he first came in.
“This is a bird that was going to die,” said Stiles.
“And now he’s not.”
And the number of animals has never been higher than this year.
“When I first started at MARS five years ago or so, we were getting 600 to 700 animals a year,” said Stiles.
“This year we’re on track to get close to 1000,” she said.
The centre is completely reliant on donations from the public too to keep running.
“And it’s really helpful when we get monetary donations,” said Andersen.
“Or donations of gift cards from grocery stores because then we can use those the way that we need to.”
To learn more about donating to MARS, visit their website here.