This winter has been long and cold for many Manitobans, and it has been tough on some wildlife. During the past few months, a number of animals ended up at Wildlife Haven Veterinary Hospital in Ile-des-Chenes.

“We've had a pretty busy winter considering it’s very cold, very snowy winter," reports executive director Zoe Nakata. "We're not having a tonne of intakes, but we’ve got a good number of animals that are spending the winter here that require some pretty intense care and surgeries. We're getting ready for what we’re sure will be a very busy spring and summer season.”

She says that's the reality of living in Manitoba, that there will be an influx of animals in spring and summer. In May of last year, the Wildlife Haven took in 100 new patients within a seven-day period. 

To get ready for the change in seasons and the increased demand for their support, there are a few things that need to happen.

A turtle walks on a small art canvas covered in paint on a table Elliot The Eastern Box Turtle creates a masterpiece for the auction. (Photo Credit: Facebook/

One of those important tasks is to make sure there is enough money to pay for supplies, food and treatments for the thousands of animals that are going to come through the doors during 2022.

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A big fundraising event took place last month and raised $31,515. Every dollar raised in February was matched by a generous donor, up to $20,000.

When everything was tallied, the goal of $80,000 was surpassed. Many of the animals helped with this fundraising event by creating some artwork that was sold in an online auction.

Here are some patient updates, courtesy of Facebook/ 

This is patient #21-2980, a North American River Otter who had been attacked by a dog last fall.
She is healthy and strong now, and will be released back to the wild this Spring!
#wildlifehaven_mb #SeeMeWild
This footage was taken on a go-pro left in her habitat while she enjoyed her daily enrichment!

This is patient #21-3088 an American White Pelican receiving medical care at the Wildlife Haven Hospital.
This patient has been in care for 103 days and spent the entire winter here!

This Pelican has been struggling with a condition called pododermatitis - commonly known as bumblefoot in animals, which could be compared to pressure sores in humans. Thankfully, this can be reversed through a medical procedure called 'debridement' - which you see in these photos! Once the procedure is complete, the Medical Team then covers the wound with protective booties to allow for healing and recovery.

We are happy to report, that the Pelican is doing great, and the wounds are healing nicely. The patient has been transferred back into the Waterfowl Building and we look forward to releasing them back to the wild this Spring!

All of this is possible, thanks to a very generous community. Thank you for helping these vulnerable animals return back to the wild, where they belong.

A white pelican with a long yellow beak looks to its left sitting inside a roomThis patient will be released back to the wild this spring. (Photo Credit: Facebook/ )

This happy patient does not mind a blizzard! He was released earlier this winter after spending a few weeks in care at the Wildlife Haven Hospital.


Written by Judy Peters & Dave Anthony