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Fun Times at the Mayor's Environmental Expo.

It's half past 8 in the morning, the air is filled with excitement and exhibitors patiently waiting for the school kids. Oh, what a joy seeing those big smiles, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed students, teachers and everyone in between. It's finally 9 o'clock and the building began to flood with people throughout the day. Man oh man was it lively!

Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society had the honour of attending the 35th annual Mayor's Environment Expo! With over 100 hands-on and virtual booths meant to encourage, engage, and inspire the children of tomorrow. Shaping their future with the environment in mind. 

Figure 1. A student playing our "Match the baby to Mama"game.

With fun games such as "Match the Baby to the Mama" and "Skunk Birthday Party", we were able to educate young Calgarians on species identification and how to safely dispose of waste, as countless numbers of animals are injured every year due to garbage.

Figure 2. Our volunteer, Heather, holding our educational skunk pelts.

You're invited to a skunk birthday party!! Well, sort of, let us explain. This game allows people to understand a skunk's diet and safe ways to dispose of garbage to prevent skunks getting injured. By sticking your hands in the mystery bag, you're able to guess what's inside and if it's safe or not safe for skunks! 

We received many questions about our bio-fact skunk pelts. Fear not, they were not purposely harmed. They came into our clinic with grave injuries. Our hard-working team did everything to help, but unfortunately they didn't survive their injuries. To honour their lives we use them as a way to educate the public about skunks and de-stigmatize these beautiful creatures.

For more information about skunks please follow these links: 

Deborah, our education coordinator, spent the majority of her days teaching ~100 school children about beavers and marmots. The children participated in engaging demonstrations and learned new dances and songs that come with our Wild Wise programs. As well as seeing a real-life marmot!!

Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society has many classroom education programs for schools and teachers. Check here for more information!

Figure 3. Deborah and Emily showcasing our beaver presentation in front of excited children.

Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society educational ambassador, marmalade, creates an engaging environment for children to learn. Our long-term educational residents are animals that could not be released back into the wild for various reasons, such as injuries that wouldn't allow them to thrive in the wild. . Marmalade came to Calgary Wildlife in 2021 after being found in a car wash as a tiny baby. Due to some brain trauma, she couldn't be released to the wild, but is a wonderful education ambassador, teaching children about marmots and how we can help them!

Here are more of our animal ambassadors! 

Figure 4. A volunteer placing the red-tailed hawk in a safe and secure box.

Our day ended with a big shock involving a red-tailed hawk, talk about being in the right place at the right time. At the end of the day, a member of The City's security team came up to us to let us know there was a hawk on the sidewalk outside City Hall! It had flown into the glass building and was stunned on the pavement, with crows circling above. Luckily for the hawk, we had our booth stationed a couple of feet away from the door! Our staff leaped into action, calling one of our designated pickup drivers, and covered the bird with a large box to reduce its stress while we waited. Window strikes kill millions of birds annually, read more about why here and how to help.

Figure 5. Red-tailed hawk

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