These are definitely the most unusual times that the vast majority of us have ever experienced, but while most of us are coping with Government restrictions; this is proving problematic for animal rescue centres all across the country.
In this article we shall be focusing on Fernvalley Wildlife Centre in Orkney.
Link to Fundraiser:Help support our animals during Coronavirus
Fernvalley opened it’s doors in the summer of 2017 and has a variety of animals which have all been rescued by Lisa Farrer, I asked her today how they were all coping during the Covid 19 pandemic?
“We are obviously experiencing the same problems as many other business across the UK at the moment, with funds being worrying and outgoings still high due to us having the animals feed, bedding and heating still to pay for during the crisis.”
“We have also had the misfortune as to catch COVID-19 (not test, diagnosed over the phone by doctors) and are suffering with moderate symptoms. We’ve had to call 111 today due to symptoms of breathing difficulties worsening in the last 24hrs and getting up the stairs is now a major task. Bed rest was suggested but obviously with our animals still relying on us for food and water we are still hauling out to head down and clean/feed in PPE. We’ve very kindly been offered by many to collect groceries and supplies for the animals. Family friends very generously did a big shop for us on Saturday to try and get us through the next two weeks while we are quarantined.”
She then went on to say:
“It’s pretty much business as usual for the critters. The animals are all doing okay although they are getting slightly less attention at the moment due to the illness, we luckily made some enrichment devices before we fell ill that we are using to keep them entertained while we recover!”
Now this intrigued me so I asked her what these enrichment devices consisted of.
“For our rodents we use food treasure hunts and hanging things like millet sprays that they have to climb to eat. Lemurs get Willow browse to eat, bottle spinners (hanging bottles with food in, they have to spin the bottles correctly to get the food to drop out), Honey Squares (Cardboard coated in honey, dried fruit and seeds and hung so they have to work to reach it) Food cubes (cages with food in, they have to use all their fingers to manipulate it out.) Hanging baskets – like to swing in them! Meerkats and racoon dogs get treasure hunts and manipulation toys like you get for pet dogs, bits lift and turn to allow food to be released. Our snakes and lizards get roam time, they come out and run around the centre or get taken outside or for a bath if its a hot day. Birds all get millet hangers, food manipulation toys and hanging items to test them and make them work for their food…makes it all last longer so we can rest!”
I asked Lisa if there was any way that people could help?
“We have a go fund me fundraiser going on to try and raise money towards our heating and lighting bills for the animals and their food.”
If you’d like to help Lisa and the animals at Fernvalley you can donate via the following link. Go Fund Me
As an alternative to the Go Fund Me site Lisa also told me that, “Animal Adoptions are a great help and give everyone a chance to have something to look forward to with the free ticket to come and visit included.” You may even be lucky enough to see Kali in action (video supplied by Lisa)
You can also donate via Paypal at http://www.fernvalleywildlifecentre.co.uk/
To get in touch with Fernvally Wildlife Centre :
Phone: 01856 751461
Or you can write to: Fernvalley Wildlife Centre,Tingwall,Rendall,Orkney KW17 2HB
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It’s so great someone is looking after wildlife during these difficult times. I hope the caretakers are well very soon. Great article – tapadh leibh!