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Great Blue Heron returns to the wild after rehabilitation

Wildlife Rescue calls for public support during busy spring season.
Great Blue Herons are provincially listed as a vulnerable species and particularly sensitive to human activities.

A Great Blue Heron, who collided with a window and got trapped in an enclosed space, has been released after receiving full rehabilitative care at Wildlife Rescue. The organization is calling for the public’s support during the busy months of spring to continue this vital work for other vulnerable species in need.

The heron struck a window of a residential house in Vancouver, and the Wildlife Rescue team was called for help. After field rescue teams successfully captured the injured heron, the bird was treated at the Wildlife Hospital for wounds and head trauma incurred from the impact.

“Wildlife Rescue is very pleased with this heron’s recovery after receiving daily care from our hospital staff,” said Linda Bakker, Wildlife Rescue’s co-executive director.

After spending 25 days in care, the Great Blue Heron had successfully recovered from their wounds and was released in the UBC area on May 10.

“Wildlife Rescue is so grateful for the support of the wildlife community in Metro Vancouver and across B.C. Every call, message and donation we receive supports our mission to promote the well-being of wildlife in urban areas,” said Bakker.

Every heron released back to the wild is a reason to celebrate. Great Blue Herons are considered a vulnerable species in British Columbia, with populations declining primarily due to their sensitivity to human activities.

Shortly after the rehabilitated adult Great Blue Heron was released, two more herons were admitted to the hospital; among them, a baby heron that fell from their nest. The young heron is receiving the necessary care to be able to grow up without the nurturing care of their mother.

More than 1,100 injured, sick and orphaned wildlife patients have been admitted to the Wildlife Rescue hospital so far this year. In comparison, about 900 animals were admitted within the same time last year.

Spring is the busiest time of year at Wildlife Rescue, says Bakker. She encourages the public to support the organization’s Spring Match and Baby Shower. She says the initiative will allow the rehabilitation of thousands more patients this year. 

If you encounter wildlife in distress, please contact the Wildlife Helpline at [email protected] or 604-526-7275.

This article was written by Elin Molenaar, the communications assistant at Wildlife Rescue Association.