A Nova Scotia wildlife animal rehabilitation centre says 10 pigeons have been brought to its care after being poisoned.
Although rock doves are a normal sight on downtown sidewalks in any city, it’s uncommon for them to be found poisoned.
But reports on social media have circulated in the Halifax Regional Municipality over the past week.
The Hope For Wildlife animal rehabilitation and education centre in Seaforth, N.S., told Global News on Saturday that 10 pigeons have received treatment for poison ingestion.
Four of them have died.
“Sadly we have seen it before and it’s more common than it should be,” said Robin Seward, a member of the Hope For Wildlife medical staff that’s been caring for the pigeons.
“We certainly have seen more poisonings over the past few weeks,” said Seward. “When people are quick to notice and bring (the pigeons) in on time to get treatment efficiently, is when we see the most success.”
Hope Swinimer runs the rehabilitation centre and says many people see pigeons as nuisance creatures.
But it’s just been in the past few weeks they’ve seen an uptick in calls about poisonings.
“At the first of the summer we weren’t having as many calls but in the last few weeks we’ve been having a lot more calls,” said Swinimer. “Sadly a lot of them are dead by the time we get there to rescue them.”
This has been Hope For Wildlife’s busiest summer in terms of the number of animals they’ve taken in, says Swinimer. All are in need of care.
They’ve seen a 27 per cent increase in animals already from last year.
Hope For Wildlife is a charitable organization and relies on public donations to fund its operations and they won’t turn any animal away that requires aid.
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“Sometimes we think how are we going to keep doing this, where is the money going to come from? But I never want to waiver from our mission,” said Swinimer. “Sometimes when I get discouraged I just think about what our mission is and we somehow find a way.”
When it comes to pigeons there are more humane ways to keep birds away says Swinimer.
That includes keeping outdoor areas clean and not leaving food sources available. Physical barriers like spikes can also serve as a deterrent.
If you see a poisoned bird you can call Nova Scotia’s department of environment to report it.