“J.J.” the beaver is a lucky critter.
When a White Rock resident spotted him wandering in and out of the salt water on the beach last year, they called Critter Care Wildlife Society, the non-profit wildlife rescue and rehabilitation agency in Langley.
Salt water is toxic for beavers and will lead to death if it isn’t treated right away.
Critter Care retrieved the beaver, who was given his name by animal care supervisor Pia Wegmueller after she decided he simply “looked like a J.J.”
After two months of treatment at the Langley facility, J.J. made a full recovery.
He was released back into the wild in May 2012 with another beaver that had come in to Critter Care about the same time.
“No one knows why beavers sometimes go into salt water,” Wegmuller says. “We suspect that they go there in search for new habitats or that they sometimes get washed down the river when there is flooding.”
Every year an average of 1,000 animals like J.J. arrive at Critter Care.
Currently, the agency is looking after 180 rescued wild animals, including 102 baby raccoons, 50 baby skunks, eight river otters, three fawns and one squirrel.
For the past three years, Critter Care has also looked after orphaned bear cubs that would have been destroyed in the past.
It costs $5,000 to rehabilitate each bear cub to the point where they can be released back into the wild. Raccoons are slightly less expensive at $1,200 each.
Critter Care gets grants from various sources, but it is money that doesn’t cover day-to-day operating expenses.
That has to come from donations and fundraisers.
On Sunday, Sept. 30, Critter Care will hold its fourth annual walk-a-thon at Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley at the south entrance. The deadline to register as a participant in the 12:15 p.m. 5K “walk on the wild side” is Sept. 18. The fee is $5. Leashed dogs are welcome. Registration forms and pledge sheets can be downloaded from www.crittercarewildlife.org
Critter care has arranged a barbecue lunch, entertainment and prizes for participants. For more, contact Judy by phone at 604-857-8811 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Cathy at 604-530-2350 or email@example.com