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Hope for Wildlife helps record number of animals in 2018

Hope for Wildlife helps record number of animals in 2018
WATCH: Nova Scotia’s go-to centre for animal rehabilitation was busier than ever in 2018. As Dave Squires reports, Hope for Wildlife helped a record number of animals this year.

The region’s go-to centre for animal rehabilitation was busier than ever in 2018.

Hope for Wildlife in Seaforth, N.S. treated 4,400 animals and birds this year — that’s around 500 more than it typically sees, according to the organization’s founder Hope Swinimer.

“It’s been an incredibly busy year for 2018. We’ve had the most patients ever, the most variety of patients too,” she said.

The centre rehabilitates all species of wildlife, including birds of prey, foxes and reptiles, before releasing them back into the wild.

READ: Hope for Wildlife animal rehab centre in N.S. victim of break-in, theft

Swinimer says the increase is due to a variety of factors.

Peanuts the skunk is just one of hundreds of animals currently at Hope for Wildlife for medical treatment.
Peanuts the skunk is just one of hundreds of animals currently at Hope for Wildlife for medical treatment. Dave Squires/Global News

“It tells me a few things: maybe that more and more people are aware that there is a place you can take wildlife that will be helped medically and placed back into the wild and the word is out there in Nova Scotia that we do this kind of work,” she said.

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“Maybe we are seeing a lot more collisions on the highways, so that may have an affect. With less habitat too, we are finding a lot more conflicts between wildlife and people.”

Volunteers from all over the world

To help keep up with the demand, the centre hired a record 50 interns this past year.

Sarah Locke from Huntsville, Ont. is working her first shift on New Year’s Eve.

Volunteer Sarah Locke weighs a pigeon at Hope for Wildlife.
Volunteer Sarah Locke weighs a pigeon at Hope for Wildlife. Dave Squires/Global News

“I love it! I’m really looking forward to getting more experience with the wildlife they have local here that we don’t have back in Ontario,” she said.

The centre predicts 2019 will be just as busy.

“We are always looking for manpower, extra help,” said Swinimer.

WATCH: Hope for Wildlife sees large influx in injured fawns

Hope for Wildlife sees large influx in injured fawns
Hope for Wildlife sees large influx in injured fawns