This summer, Jaycee Reimer helped give animals a second chance at life. “There is no field of work quite like wildlife rehabilitation,” says Jaycee, an environmental science student. “It is so far from your average job, and every day is exciting in a different way.”
Thanks to funding from the CPRA’s Green Jobs Initiative, which is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience program, the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) was able to hire Jaycee as a Wildlife Hotline and Rescue Assistant.
The organization is committed to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured and orphaned wildlife. It provides expert advice and education that fosters an appreciation of wildlife.
As the Wildlife Hotline and Rescue Assistant, Jaycee managed the AIWC’s wildlife hotline, which Albertans can call 365 days a year to ask questions about wildlife or report an animal in need. She also performed rescues for animals in need of care, and transported injured and orphaned wildlife to the AIWC’s animal hospital.
“Every day brings new calls and new patients,” says Jaycee.
Holly Lillie, the AIWC’s executive director, says that the organization was able to hire one student through the Green Jobs Initiative and that it made a big difference to the organization. She says AIWC would definitely apply for the grant again if given the opportunity.
“Wildlife health is an important indicator of the health of our environment, and as urban expansion continues, we expect the demand for our services to increase” - Jaycee Reimer, student
“Wildlife health is an important indicator of the health of our environment, and as urban expansion continues, we expect the demand for our services to increase,” says Holly. “We encourage Albertans to respect the environment around them by inspiring a passion for conservation and sustainability.”
She adds that Jaycee’s summer job was a newly-created position to meet increased demand for the organization’s services.
“Spring and summer are our peak seasons,” says Holly. “On any given day, we can receive 30 to 70 calls to our Wildlife Hotline, admit up to and above 30 new patients, and have up to 200 animals in care. In June, the hotline took more than 1,000 calls. Thanks to this funding, we were able to respond faster to rescuing and collecting animals in need.”
The vast majority of animals that are admitted into the AIWC’s care are injured or orphaned due to human conflict, says Holly – whether they hit a window, a car collision, or get attacked by a pet cat or dog.
"Thanks to this funding, we were able to respond faster to rescuing and collecting animals in need" - Jaycee Reimer, student
Jaycee’s summer job also provided wildlife education to the public, and helped Albertans understand how their actions can impact the environment and its wildlife.
“We educate people on wildlife topics such as normal behaviors, habitats, and health,” Jaycee explains. “We provide wildlife conflict solutions that allow humans to co-exist with wildlife.”
Jaycee adds that she would apply for a similar job again, because every day she felt like she was making a difference.
“It is unique in the sense that it is unlike any other job in the wildlife field, and unlike any other job in the animal health field,” she says.
The CPRA’s Green Jobs Initiative supports Goal 3 ‘Connecting People & Nature’ and Goal 5 ‘Recreation Capacity’ within the Framework for Recreation in Canada. The Framework serves as a foundation for the work of the parks and recreation sector.
To read all success stories go to: https://greenjobsinitiative.ca/success-stories