Awareness of Wildlife in the Workplace

Napanee, ON (January 24, 2023) - Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre in Napanee, Ontario has launched a new online course to equip members of the public with the skills needed to identify a wild animal in distress, and to safely secure and transport the animal to the centre for treatment.

Without a dedicated rescue team, Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre relies on community members to bring the animals in themselves, which can be challenging for both the animal and the rescuer. "We've had patients arrive at the centre in worse condition from harmful capturing and transportation methods than from the original injuries or illness the animal had. We hope this course will lead to safer rescues that cause minimal stress to the animal, so they have a fighting chance at making it through rehabilitation", says Leah Birmingham, Medical Director at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre.

The course, called 'Wildlife Aware: Workplace Training', focuses on emergency response to wildlife in a workplace setting, from an office to a vehicle (i.e., delivery personnel) to a construction site. While the course is designed with workplace scenarios in mind, any member of the public can take the course.

"If we didn't have the public involved in wildlife rehabilitation, we wouldn't have any patients. They're our eyes and ears out there.", says Sue Meech, Director at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre. "It's a two-way street. They help the animal, we help the animal and we work together. It's a team effort." Workplaces with participants in the course can apply for 'Wildlife Aware' certification to receive a digital award in bronze, silver, or gold to show their organization's commitment to the wellbeing of wildlife. As more community members gain knowledge and confidence in safely rescuing wildlife at their workplace, more animals will receive the time-sensitive medical care they need for successful rehabilitation and release.

Register for the course at:

This project was made possible in part by the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area.