Calgary Wildlife is a non-profit organization that provides professional care for wildlife rehabilitation and promotes positive human-wildlife interactions through educational programs. Recently, we had the chance to speak with Executive Director Beki Hunt to find out more about what they do.
Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.
Calgary Wildlife was established in 1993 to provide professional care for wildlife rehabilitation. Each year we receive more than 2700 injured and orphaned wild animals and respond to more than 10,000 wildlife-related calls from the public. In addition, Calgary Wildlife promotes positive human-wildlife interactions through our education programs, which reach Calgarians from the ages of 5 years old to 95 years old.
What problem does it aim to solve?
As Calgary continues to expand and take over more spaces that were once only belonging to wild animals, there will be a greater possibility for human-wildlife conflict and wildlife injuries resulting from living in urban settings. Hence, the need for the Calgary Wildlife has never been greater, to advocate for the wild animals living in and around the Calgary area, promote positive human-wildlife interactions, and treat and rehabilitate wild animals in need of help.
When did you start/join it?
I sat on the Board of Directors from August 2021 to April 2022 and then took over the Executive Director role in May 2022.
What made you want to get involved?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been someone who fights for the underdog and those who don’t have a voice. My love for all animals started at a young age, and working to help protect them is my passion and a great honour.
What was the situation like when you started?
Many organizations have faced difficulties during COVID, including Calgary Wildlife. We’d lost a large portion of our volunteer base, which made daily operations that much more difficult. Then just when we were ready to bring back volunteers, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza entered Alberta’s airspace. Our hardworking staff were forced to do more work, due to the biosecurity processes we’d put in place, with less help.
How has it changed since?
We are fortunate that we’ve been able to slowly start to build back our volunteer base over the past 8 months. Although the numbers aren’t where they were before COVID, we are on the path to getting there.
How can our readers help?
Please consider signing up to be a monthly donor. Becoming a monthly donor is a win-win for you and the organization. For yourself, you can feel confident knowing you’re helping wildlife every month, it’s automatic so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to donate, and of course, you get a tax receipt for all your donations. For us, it helps us be able to set more predictable budgets, forecast cash flow more effectively, and feel confident that our monthly donations will be enough to cover all our animal care costs.
Do you have any events coming up?
Eye for the Wild is happening right now. It’s our annual amateur wildlife photography contest. Check out the details here.
Where can we follow you?
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tiktok
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?
The Alice Sanctuary