Our mandate is to rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild orphaned, injured and ill animals.
Each year, the sanctuary takes in well over 300 animals for rehabilitation. Many animals require special formula or intensive veterinary care. Animals such as orphaned bear cubs and beaver kits need to stay at the sanctuary for a year or more (until the age when they would normally leave their mothers). We receive no government funding; this work is completely donor-funded. You can support Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, by sponsoring an animal undergoing rehabilitation.
These species are part of our Sponsor an Animal program.
In a typical year, we rehabilitate and release over 100 raccoon kits. Raccoon kits have to be put in isolation when they arrive, to ensure that they are not carrying any infectious diseases. Once they are deemed healthy, orphaned raccoons are raised in the presence of their own kind to ensure proper socialization, like other orphan species.
Orphaned Raccoon Kit
These raccoons arrived after falling into a grease trap and were in critical condition on arrival.
This raccoon had surgery to fix a broken leg. He made a full recovery and was released
Porcupine: Porcupines are a favourite of rehabilitates they are gentle and exude personality! We typically receive and rehabilitate a few porcupines each year. Sometimes they are orphaned, other times we receive ill or injured adults needing care.
After rehabilitation, this porcupine is headed back to the wild!
This porcupine was also hit by a car and made a full recovery here at the sanctuary before being released.
After being hit by a car, this porcupine is recovering at our sanctuary. She made a full recovery and has since been released.
Each year, we receive many orphaned fawns. Some are legitimate orphans whose mothers have been killed. Others are mistaken for orphans because their mothers leave them alone in secluded areas for long periods of time. We recommend calling the sanctuary if you are concerned about a deer fawn before trying to intervene to avoid 'kidnapping' the fawn from his/her mother.
Occasionally, we also receive injured young deer in need of rehabilitation.
Orphaned deer fawn enjoying the outdoor enclosure
This deer is recovering from surgery to remove an arrow that was embedded in his back
Deer fawns require special formula to meet their species specific nutritional needs
Beavers, Otters, & Other Aquatic Mammals
Beavers, otters, and other aquatic mammals are high-maintenance species to rehabilitate due to their complex social, health, and behavioural needs. Each year, Aspen Valley accepts a handful of orphaned beavers, otters, and muskrats into rehabilitation.
Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is a leader in aquatic mammal rehabilitation and is one of the few rehabilitation centres equipped with an aquatic facility to house and care for aquatic mammals year-round.
Orphaned beaver kit being admitted for care
One of the muskrats in rehabilitation enjoying some swim time
These otters are exploring their outdoor enclosure
Aspen Valley is one of only a handful of facilities in Ontario equipped to rehabilitate bears. Orphaned bear cubs require rehabilitation until they are one and a half years old. In 2016, we were very busy rehabilitating injured yearling and sub-adult black bears who had been either hit by cars or who had been shot and injured. Many of these bears have since recovered from their injuries and have been released.
This orphaned cub was found severely emaciated eating out of a homeowner's bird feeder. Thankfully, he was rescued, rehabilitated, and has since been released
This yearling was found severely emaciated. She has since recovered and been released
A concerned homeowner reported a young injured bear limping on 3 legs. We trapped the bear to discover that she had been shot. She is healing up well and we expect to release her in 2017.