It's the busiest time of the year for Wildlife Haven and last week, they received an exciting announcement. 

The news was not about animals but about successful proposals, says Executive Director Zoe Nakata. 

“We are receiving four of the visiting pods from the Government of Manitoba,” Nakata says. “They're sea cans. They were retrofitted to be attached to nursing homes during the deep days of the pandemic to make sure that residents could safely visit their loved ones. Now, they're no longer needed,” 

She explains there was a proposal for callouts for organizations, including Wildlife Haven, to reuse and give them “a second life.” They were successful and received all four pods.  

The 8 ft by 40 ft long pods that are retrofitted, independently heated and cooled and have UVC technology, will be used as a capacity for animals. 

“It's really going to help us in terms of adding capacity for patients that need special biosecurity consideration. So, from intake to making sure that an animal is not contagious with something like avian influenza or parvo, that can be a little bit dangerous bringing into our main facility, to then even treating patients that might develop mange or something along those lines and having a safe area to treat them while they're in care of Wildlife Haven. Definitely increased capacity for more patients that can be treated on an ongoing basis at Wildlife Haven, and also keeping humans safe,” she explains. 

Nakata is grateful for the donation, as she says purchasing the pods comes at a price tag of over $100,000 per unit and building it would be a multi-year project. 

“The fact that we're able to kind of hit the ground running with this and have them up and running within a few weeks is really fantastic. And also, I'll add the fact that all of these four pods are coming from right here in the southeast is really quite exciting,” she says.

She adds once they are picked up and transported by a moving company, they will be up and running thanks to their new facility’s power supply and 18 acres of space.  

In addition to the new pods, Nakata says they have had many critters visit their facility. One male beaver patient who came in with gashes and a leg wound has become a “staff favourite very quickly.”  

“He's healing quite well, and he's doing really well in his enclosure,” she says. "The really fun thing about this beaver is that with all of the heat that we've been getting recently, some of our team members put in a little bit of a shower with the hose, and he's been just spending a lot of time on his back and letting the shower spray on his belly, which has been very adorable to just kind of put the GoPro and watch him from afar.” 

Wildlife Haven staff have also found the answer to the old age question, “What does the fox say?” from their orphaned foxes who are learning how to become adult foxes together. 

"There's a lot of that yipping going on, and they're tussling together like fox kids should be. They're learning to dig, and they're learning to eat and to search for their food, and they are also climbing and jumping and digging and doing all that adorable stuff,” she explains. 

Finally, Nakata shares a reminder about coming across animals needing support. 

“If you find an animal that you think is sick, injured or orphaned, please give us a call and we'll be able to work with you to find out if that animal indeed does need human care,” she explains. “Bringing an animal into human care is absolutely the last resort. They are always better cared for in their natural habitat with their parents, but sometimes human care is necessary.” 

For more information, visit their website and check out their social media pages. 

With files from Dave Anthony.