Busy year at Critter Care as wildlife refuge eyes walk-a-thon

Scenic Campbell Valley site of 7th annual fundraiser for wildlife rehabilitation society.

This little muskrat was found in a church in Surrey and was returned to the wild after a few days at Critter Care in Langley.

A Langley wildlife rehabilitation centre is asking visitors to take a walk on the wild side on Sunday, Oct. 4, in scenic Campbell Valley Regional Park.

The event, which begins at 11:30 a.m., is Critter Care’s seventh annual walk-a-thon fundraiser, supporting the hundreds of orphaned and  injured animals brought to the facility each year.

Participants are invited to walk two or four kilometres, and they’re encouraged to bring along a few friends — human and canine alike.

The walk-a-thon will be followed by barbecue.

This year was a particularly busy one for Critter Care, which took in more than a dozen bear cubs from across B.C. Nine were released back to the wild in remote areas last June, but several more will remain through the winter to fatten up in the safety of Critter Care’s large enclosures.

“This has been an absolutely crazy year, very busy with so many animals,” said Critter Care founder Gail Martin.

Critter Care specialize in the treatment, care and release of sick, injured and orphaned B.C. mammals, including skunks, porcupines, beavers, raccoons, coyote, deer, otter, bobcats, lynx, bears, opossums and squirrels.

Critter Care relies on donations from the public and some community grants to operate. Food and specialized formula is expensive and fundraisers such as the walk-a-thon go a long way to help cover those costs, said Martin.

Register for the walk online at crittercarewildlife.org/walkathon or phone Cathy at 604-202-5697. Early bird registration fee is $10 until Sept. 25. After that it is $15, with children 12 and under paying $5.

Pledges and registration starts at 10:30 a.m. The walk will begin at the south end of the park.