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Calls skyrocket at Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan’s hotline

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WATCH: The Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan said there has been a recent surge in calls involving brown bats – Jan 31, 2020

When the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan (WRSOS) first started taking calls to its hotline in 2007, the organization received 177 that year.

The numbers have since skyrocketed, with just over 3,000 calls in 2018.

“Flash forward to this year (2019) and we are almost at 3,500 calls and our fiscal year doesn’t end until April,” said WRSOS’s Sheri Hodgson.

READ MORE: Garter snake population ‘healthy’ around Saskatoon

WRSOS said it strives to return calls within 30 minutes and prioritizes them based on urgency when it receives a high rate of calls.

Hodgson said there has been a recent surge in calls involving brown bats, but people shouldn’t be worried.

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“These guys actually hibernate inside the walls of people’s homes in the wintertime,” Hodgson explained.

“When the temperature fluctuates quite a bit we get lots of big brown bat calls. People find them in their kitchens or in businesses.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon wildlife rescue group says baby animals should be left alone

Hodgson said most of the time the bats are looking for a drink of water and have ended up taking a wrong turn.

The majority of the calls the WRSOS receives in a year — roughly 70 per cent — concern orphaned wildlife.

The organization said in 2017, 33 per cent of callers were told to leave the wildlife alone in its natural habitat.

Officials said it is normal for many animal species to leave their young alone for long periods while they search for food or ensure their safety.

The majority of wildlife requiring specialized care were injured in a vehicle collision, electrocution, human interference and environmental hazards, WRSOS said.

The hotline number is 306-242-7177 and operates 12-hours daily, 365 days a year.

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