Wildlife sanctuary seeking volunteers
By Chad Ingram
The Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary is looking for volunteers to assist with all aspects of its operation.
“We’re looking for help, any kind of support,” said founder and director Monika Melichar.
The sanctuary, located off Duck Lake Road, houses and rehabilitates orphaned and injured animals, most of them eventually being released back into the habitats where they were found. Currently, there are more than 130 creatures living on the property. There are several species of bird – from woodpeckers to wood ducks to hawks to a barn owl that was struck by a car. There are squirrels, foxes, deer and a baby brown bat. There are more animals year over year, and fewer volunteers to help with them.
“We’re looking for people to help us with the wildlife, of course, caring for them and feeding them,” Melichar says. Training is provided for anyone who may be interested.
The sanctuary is also looking for volunteers for things that may be less obvious. There are fences and enclosures to be built, and there are also administrative duties.
“We have to keep extensive records,” Melichar says, explaining that animal treatment and medications must be carefully logged.
The sanctuary is also looking for someone to help with social media promotion and web design.
“Some of the things can be done from home,” Melichar says. The sanctuary is also looking for drivers, volunteers to pick up injured animals, or return rehabilitated creatures to their habitats.
“We cover such a vast area,” Melichar says, explaining this includes not just the county, but Bancroft, parts of Muskoka, Collingwood and even Tobermory. “There are no other centres.”
The sanctuary is busy, receiving about 50 phone calls per day. In the short time the Times was there, someone called to report they had found a groundhog with a broken leg somewhere near Bancroft.
The sanctuary has more recently branched into the care of injured turtles, as the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre becomes increasingly swamped, and there were seven painted turtles along with one snapper on the property earlier this week.
Melichar is ideally looking for volunteers who are able to donate at least half a day of their time once a week, and can be consistent. Volunteers must be 16 years of age.
Anyone interested can visit the sanctuary’s website at www.