One of our previous long-term patients was a muskrat who overwintered at Calgary Wildlife.
The muskrat was brought in after being caught by a dog. He was suffering from some wounds and an eye injury.
Over the next 183 days with us, the patient experienced some complications as he recovered, but through careful monitoring and expert care he was finally ready for release at the end of April.
The muskrat was released into a wetland near Bearspaw. Muskrats are semi-aquatic and contribute to wetland ecosystems by eating various water plants and keeping waterways open.
This patient’s story is not an uncommon one, as conflicts frequently happen between dogs and wildlife. Although domestic dogs are not categorised as predators, they are canids and still retain some of those instincts, including chasing and biting. Because of this, dogs can cause harm to many species of wildlife without proper supervision.
Always keep dogs on a leash and on the path unless you are in a designated off-leash area. If you are hiking or going into an area where wildlife is prevalent, leave your dog at home whenever possible. Through these simple actions you can help to keep wildlife safe.