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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Procyon, Beeton, Onatrio, Canada

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Procyon, Beeton, Onatrio, Canada
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Registered: December 2013
City/Town/Province: Thornton
Posts: 1
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Procyon Wildlife Rehabilitation
As any great ecologist knows, biodiversity is an essential part in any healthy ecosystem. My environmental project for 2013 was focused on that idea and the wildlife needed in an ecosystem for it to be successful. I started out on this amazing project in March 2013 as the youngest volunteer at Procyon (pronounced Pro-see-on) Wildlife Rehabilitation and Veterinary Services located just outside Beeton, ON. It was such an honor to be asked to join the 2013 team of volunteers, because I have always been fascinated by Canadian wildlife and their unique habitats. In fact, I still consider the opportunity larger than life, I am always excited when Wednesday night rolls along and I get to care for the wildlife.
Procyon is a place where injured, orphaned, or sick wildlife are brought to be assessed, treated, or rehabilitated and to be safely released back into the wild in better shape. It is a non-profit organization that receives no funding and relies solely on donations from the community and the hard work of volunteers. It is an amazing place full of fantastic people, and a place I’m so thankful to say I am apart of!
We’ve had many wonderful success stories this past year with all the beautiful wildlife that have come through, but one that sticks out in the minds of many volunteers this year at Procyon, is that of Willow the fawn. When Willow first arrived on the doorsteps of Procyon, she was just a young fawn that was unable to stand or walk. We quickly got to work putting in many hours to try and solve her problem. We began her rehabbing indoors, using a towel placed under her hind quarters and holding her up. She was able to use both her front legs but we wanted her to know her hind ones were present. Holding her by this sling, we tried to have her stand on her back legs. We practiced this for weeks hoping it would click.
Eventually, she was put in a smaller outdoor enclosure where we practiced the same technique. She seemed like she was getting stronger but we didn’t know if she would ever become strong enough for the wild. But, one day I went into volunteer and was speaking with Dr. Cynthia Post, the on site vet and Procyon’s co-founder, who had been away for a couple weeks and come back to quite a surprise. She had told me before she left, she was unsure if Willow would ever be able to walk, which would mean she could never be released and possibly euthanized. But when she had returned she went to Willow’s enclosure to feed her and found the young fawn standing before her.
After hearing Cynthia’s account I had to see for myself! That same night when I went to feed our little fawn, I too saw the hours of volunteer work and care standing before me! She has been moved to a larger outdoor enclosure and even has a new friend named Hawthorn. Willow is now finishing her rehab by learning the survival skills of a doe and will be released in the spring.
Its moments like these as a volunteer that you truly appreciate everything you’ve done. Her release will be an even more rewarding experience. And knowing that improving her life enriches the environment around her brings me great comfort to know that I did indeed help to make a difference in the environment surrounding the community.
I have been taught so much about the wildlife and their precious habitats by Dr. Post and the other volunteers whom mentored me through this entire project. Seeing the difference being made has inspired me to make the next step and I’m going to post-secondary for an ecological restoration program. I’m positive that all I have leaned this year at Procyon will definitely be an asset in the field from a wildlife perspective. Thanks to my 2013 involvement at Procyon I know I have what it takes to make a difference, get others involved, and indeed be a part of change.
Date: December 31, 2013 Views: 5083 File size: 15.3kb, 2161.5kb : 2592 x 1944
Hours Volunteered: 500
Volunteers: 21
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 18 to 60
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