Mountainaire Avian Wildlife Rescue Centre is feeling the effects of COVID-19.

It had to close its Visitor Centre earlier this week in response to the pandemic.

“Since this whole thing has happened with COVID-19, we really are struggling financially,” says Wildlife Rehab Assistant Manager Kiersten Shyian. “We are a non-profit organization and we had to close our Visitor Centre to the public. That’s our main source of income.”

Though visitors can no longer walk through its doors, the wildlife hospital is staying open with staff and volunteers on-site every day helping the animals in its care.

With that being said, Shyian says a lot of volunteers aren’t coming in “simply due to their own safety and those around them.”

“A lot of our volunteers are older or retired. We definitely have been lacking a bit with the volunteer support. In the last week alone we’ve had a lot of people call in, which is totally understandable.”

Around this time of the year, volunteers would normally be out in the community raising money for the upcoming “baby season”.

This includes selling raffle tickets, hosting garage sales and putting on special events to care for fawns, baby birds and baby mammals.

“The babies will start coming in the next few months and we definitely need to prepare food, buy formula, and all that kind of stuff. It’s definitely a lot of spring cleaning and prepping for the babies.”

MARS understands that it’s a difficult time for everyone, but any financial support you can spare to maintain its wildlife rescue and rehabilitation program will go a long way.

“We do only have so much funds available. If we don’t continue our donor and community support, it becomes a lot harder to actually care for patients properly. Obviously, we can’t really shut our hospital down because there are so many animals that are in need. We’re going to have to find a way to try and keep going. We can’t do this without the support of the community and the support of our donors,” Shyian adds.

If you would like to donate to the MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre, visit this website.