These programs create long-lasting positive associations with wildlife. Other permanent residents foster orphaned babies reducing the risk of habituation.
Calgary Wildlife Permanent Residents.
Calgary Wildlife strives to release all rehabilitated animals back into the wild. However, occasionally we receive an animal that cannot be released and is a suitable candidate for permanent residency based on the role the animal can play at our society. Our educational ambassadors become part of our educational programming, inspiring thousands of citizens every year. Many people have never had the opportunity to be in the same room as an owl or hawk and feedback from our educational programs has pointed to the lasting positive impact of seeing a live wild animal up close as well as being able to participate in a hands-on learning activity (pellet dissection). These programs create long-lasting positive associations with wildlife. Other permanent residents foster orphaned babies reducing the risk of habituation.
OPHELIA, Great Horned Owl
Ophelia is a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) who came to Calgary Wildlife in 2007 with a broken wing. The fracture healed but complications with scar tissue in the tendon prevent her from raptor-style flight which is needed for proper hunting, but she can fly. As she was not able to be released back into the wild but had a very quiet disposition, she was considered for an education ambassador. Handling training began and she quickly adapted to her new job and is now a permanent resident at the centre.
Ophelia is named after a young noblewoman from Denmark in Shakespeare’s play, “Hamlet”.
Ophelia inspires thousands of children and adults every year, helping to create awareness around wildlife issues.
MARMALADE, Hoary Marmot
Marmalade the marmot (Marmota caligata) was brought to us as a baby in August 2021 after being found in a carwash. Often marmots hitch rides on cars from the mountains back to the city, and it’s suspected this was the case for Marmalade. At the time she presented with mild neurologic symptoms. We kept her over the first winter to hibernate and we hoped she’d be able to be released back to the wild in the Spring, however, whatever caused her neurological symptoms also caused her to be very friendly and curious towards people and wouldn’t be able to be successfully released back to the wild. Because of her friendly nature, Marmalade was brought on as a permanent resident and is in training to become an education ambassador.
LITO, Swainson’s Hawk
Lito is an inquisitive Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) who is a permanent resident and an education ambassador at Calgary Wildlife
Lito came to us in August of 2012 as a nestling with a fractured wing. He was unable to be released to the wild because of the permanent damage to his wing but quickly was recruited into our education program. Lito took to his training with ease because of his curiosity and laid-back temperament. Having been with us from the earliest period of his life, Lito is very comfortable around people which makes him an excellent educational ambassador.
Lito was named, through our “Name the Ambassador Contest”, after famous Argentine musician, Lito Vitale in honor of the long migration routes Swainson’s Hawks fly every year. Swainson’s Hawks have the longest migration route of any North American raptor, flying as far as Argentina every year (22 400 km).
OLIVER, Striped Skunk
Oliver, Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis): Oliver came to Calgary Wildlife in 2017 after being found orphaned. By the time he came to us he was deeply habituated to humans and though we worked hard to wild him up, he ultimately was not a suitable candidate for release. With his easygoing temperament, he was a natural fit for our education program to serve as an ambassador for his kind and a reminder that trying to raise wildlife as pets robs them of the natural wild lives they should live. Oliver, as amiable as he is, still has some of his wild programming and enjoys pretending to spray and biting as part of his play.
ECHO, Silver-Haired Bat
Echo is a silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) that came to Calgary Wildlife at the start of 2019 with a wing injury that left him unable to fly. Unfortunately, the injury was unfixable after several attempts. However, Echo had a lovely disposition and seemed to do quite well in captivity, so he was brought into our education program to help teach people about the benefits of having bats in our communities. He's been filmed for many documentaries to help dispel all the negative bat myths out there. His favourite thing to do is chow down on mealworms and take lots of naps.
ANGEL, Canada Goose
Angel, a Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) is a long term permanent resident at Calgary Wildlife. Angel was named for Angel Wing Syndrome, which is a genetic disorder she has. Angel Wing Syndrome creates follicle malformations which make the feathers grow in the wrong direction. The result is that Angel can’t fly. Angel instead is an excellent foster mom to the dozens of goslings we receive every year, helping us to minimize human contact with our gosling patients to ensure the most successful results.
FRANKLIN, Cackling Goose
Franklin is a Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii) who was in the care of our friends in Edmonton, WildNorth. He was taken to WildNorth because he was unable to fly. In 2020, Franklin was brought down to Calgary to be a companion to our foster goose Angel. Wherever one is, the other follows, and they've been happy in each other's company since the start.