HistoryMany people ask how NIWRA began. In 1984, Robin Campbell, NIWRA's founder, discovered a Great Horned Owl entangled in a neighbor's fence, its wing mangled and in need of emergency care. It was Christmas day and the Christmas dinner would have to wait. Spirit, as the Owl was later named became our first of many casualties at the Buckley Bay Wildlife Recovery Centre (by the Denman Island Ferry).
Later in 1986, the newly formed association moved to an eight acre parcel of land in Errington, BC, and changed its name to North Island Wildlife Recovery Association, hoping to serve the north end of Vancouver Island, B.C., not knowing at the time we would be receiving animals from as far away as Saskatchewan.
NIWRA became internationally known when a local farmer unknowingly left a euthanised cow in a field for the eagles to eat. The cow had been euthanised with a barbiturate and should have been buried. Neighbours of the farmer began calling NIWRA when they discovered eagles lying lifeless on the ground. Due to the tremendous community support and the media, NIWRA, volunteers and veterinarians were able to save and release 25 of the 29 eagles that were found.
Over the years, NIWRA, has developed its expertise having dealt with oil spills, wildlife rehabilitation, short term rehabilitation of bear, wolf and cougar, and has developed extensive educational programs for the public.
We are proud to have the largest eagle flight cage (measuring 140' x 30' x 20') of its kind in Canada, which has housed hundreds of eagles being readied for release.
In 1995, the Arthur Knowles "Museum of Nature", a mortise and tenon timber frame structure was built and in 2001 the May Neish "Wildlife Learning Centre" was constructed, in keeping with NIWRA's mandate of education for the public. NIWRA is instrumental in building and managing the V.I. Black Bear Rehabilitation Program where bears are successfully rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
In 2005,a 30' x 30' treatment centre was constructed by donations from caring individuals, service clubs, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the Vancouver Foundation. The centre has been named after Dr. Malcolm McAdie for all his donated time spent helping wildlife here at the centre.
More recently, the Magical Field of Stones and a Native Plant Wildlife Garden has been constructed in keeping with NIWRA's educational program. Raptor presentations are given during the summer months on the Magical Field of Stones while educational programs are planned for the Wildlife Garden.
The centre has truly developed into a remarkable wildlife rehabilitation facility offering educational programs delivered by enthuiastic and knowledgeable volunteers and a world class tourist destination.
We hope you enjoy your visit, and will learn to love and respect wildlife, as we have.
Robin and Sylvia Campbell
and NIWRA Board of Directors
E-MAIL NIWRA - firstname.lastname@example.org
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