In the 1990's, the Victoria SPCA received hundreds of injured and orphaned wild animals at their shelter every year, and identified the need for a specialized facility to care for these animals in the region. To celebrate their centennial anniversary, the Victoria SPCA built Wild ARC in 1997 on 10 acres of rural land in the community of Metchosin, just west of Victoria. Recognizing the uniqueness of Wild ARC in treating only wild animals, the BC SPCA established Wild ARC as a separate branch in 2002. To date, over 22,000 wild animal patients have been treated!
Wild ARC is permitted annually by the BC Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to rehabilitate raptors, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, and by the Canadian Wildlife Service, to treat migratory birds. The facility does not have the appropriate caging nor is it permitted to care for large carnivores such as bear and cougars. Seals and other marine mammals are rescued and emergency medical treatment is administered until the animal can be transferred to a facility specialized in marine mammal care.
As a member of the Wildlife Rehabilitators' Network of BC, the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, and the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, Wild ARC is constantly abreast of and contributing to the latest research in wildlife rehabilitation and wildlife medicine.
Serving in a specialized field of animal welfare, Wild ARC staff are highly trained. In addition to wildlife experience, they bring various animal care and biological educational backgrounds, preparing them to work with the over 140 different species of wild animals treated at Wild ARC. Review the wildlife statistics of animal intake since opening in August 1997.
Visiting Wild ARC
In order to keep the environment for the wild animals in care as stress-free as possible, Wild ARC is not open for public tours. All of the animals at Wild ARC are in treatment for eventual release - none are kept permanently in a display setting.
Wild animals are very different from domestic animals and become stressed and frightened in noisy and brightly lit environments. Imprinting is also a serious concern for wild animals destined for release, as we do not want to have them become accustomed to humans (their smells and noises) and think that this is a safe situation. In the wild, animals that approach or are not afraid of humans quickly become in great danger of being killed or injured. For these reasons, there are no public tours. However, please check out Spring Annual Open House which is the one weekend a year when members of the public can visit the facility and the few winter patients in care can be temporarily moved to off-limit areas.