In Canada, there is no government agency mandated to rescue or care for injured and orphaned wildlife in order for the animals to be released back into the wild. Thanks to non-profit wildlife rehabilitation shelter Cochrane Ecological Institute (CEI) orphaned or injured wildlife in Alberta is given a second chance. CEI relies entirely upon donations to provide this essential service to wildlife and the public. Since its founding in 1972, CEI has been rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing injured and orphaned wildlife. They’ve been rescuing and fostering wildlife for so long that now the original volunteers’ children are now helping out!
CEI was originally founded to breed endangered species for release back into their original, protected habitat. CEI breeds swift fox (a.k.a. Vulpes velox) which in 1972 had completely vanished from Canada. Thanks to the work of CEI and other similar organizations, the status of the swift fox was changed from “extinct” in Canada to “endangered” in Canada in 1998. After Canada’s success, CEI partnered with Blackfeet Nation of Montana to help with the first first swift fox reintroduction in the USA. The U.S. program ran until 2002 and was very successful as well.
After the success of the swift fox program, CEI began rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing everything from ducklings and owlets to moose calves and bear cubs. The CEI is unique among shelters because they are situated in the countryside with plenty of safe habitat for their recovering wildlife.
Since 1971, we have successfully treated and released thousands of animals. Rescuing injured or orphaned wild animals means that you never know what will get brought in. From a tinny baby hummingbird found by a little boy playing soccer to orphaned bear cubs whose mother was killed on the road – wildlife rescue is always exciting and different!
Each new species that comes in to CEI is built a new enclosure and CEI has to find the perfect type of milk or food they need to survive. After that comes veterinary care for any injuries and release site selection after the animal has fully recovered. CEI also conducts evaluation and post release monitoring, which they feel is essential for job well done.
CEI also trains volunteers, teaches in schools, and provides field station facilities for wildlife research. CEI relies entirely upon the financial support and generosity of their community and partnerships with other wildlife rehabilitation centers and shelters. SPCA International encourages you to support this wildlife organization directly.
If you would like to support CEI directly please mail you donations to: P.O. Box 484, Cochrane, AB, Canada T4C 1A7.