Beneath the thin dusting of snow that topped Manitoba’s prairie lands this autumn, a small nest of common snapping turtles — laid too late in the season — struggled against the cold. Luckily, a local Winnipeg biologist has happened upon their nest and is planning to take them to the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre, where they will receive the care they need to survive the winter.
For the past five years, Wildlife Haven has been operating out of an unused dairy barn in Ile-des-Chênes, Man., but thanks to TransCanada, they are on their way to constructing a brand new facility — one that better meets their patients’ needs!
A volunteer-driven, non-profit organization, Wildlife Haven takes in over 1,700 injured or orphaned animals from northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan every year. Once the animals receive the care they need, they must prove they’re capable of walking, flying or foraging and hunting for food before the Centre will consider releasing them back into the wild.
“In addition to rehabilitation, the Wildlife Haven has also partnered with TransCanada to deliver education programs to school kids,” says Mike Liao, TransCanada regional director for Central Region. “They use animal ambassadors (those who could not be released back into the wild) to educate the public on how to properly handle wildlife.”
Earlier this year, TransCanada entered into a 50-year community land-lease partnership with Wildlife Haven, providing access to 18 acres of land north of TransCanada’s Station 41 in Ile-des-Chenes, Man., giving them the space to build the new facility, which will include long flyways to rehabilitate birds of prey, such as bald eagles.
On November 22, 2014, TransCanada’s Gary Houston, vice-president of TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline Project, made a surprise funding announcement to Wildlife Haven at the Ritchot Regional Chamber of Commerce Dinner, for which they were selected as the event charity of choice by the guest of honour, outgoing Mayor Bob Stefaniuk.
At the event, Houston spoke about TransCanada’s 20-year partnership with the Wildlife Haven and announced a donation of $500,000 to the organization’s fundraising campaign to help make their dream of constructing a new rehabilitation and education centre a reality.
“Our staff, volunteers and donors have worked hard to deliver the best care possible for Canada’s injured and orphaned wildlife, often in temporary locations. We have dreamed about a state-of-the-art facility offering a hospital, species specific recovery enclosures and an education centre. This generous donation from TransCanada of $500,000, has kick started our Capital Campaign toward building that dream,” said Judy Robertson, vice-president of Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre.
“It was a privilege to announce this donation for a cause that matters significantly to the evening’s guest of honour, Mayor Bob Stefaniuk. We are so proud of our over-60-year relationship with the RM of Ritchot and 20-year relationship with Wildlife Haven,” said Houston. “Our partnership with Wildlife Haven is an example of one of the numerous significant conservation efforts we support across North America as part of our commitment to environmental stewardship in the communities where we live and work.”
“After recovering from the surprise of this announcement, we are realizing the reality of this incredible donation and show of support,” added Robertson. “This gift confirms that all the hard work that Wildlife Haven does is important.”
TransCanada’s Environmental Strategy is integral to our operation as we work to protect precious landscapes and wildlife, while meeting our obligation to address energy demands across the continent.
Our 20-year relationship with Wildlife Haven is a true testament to TransCanada’s commitment to being a good neighbour for the long term. Click here to review TransCanada’s 2013 CSR Report.