We are thrilled to announce a new partnership that is set to make a lasting impact on Manitoba's wildlife and natural habitats.

The Assiniboine Park Conservancy and Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre have come together through a formal memorandum of understanding, solidifying our commitment to the protection and conservation of wildlife and their natural habitats within Manitoba.

Wildlife Haven shares our vision for preserving the diverse flora and fauna that call Manitoba home and our joint efforts will focus on raising awareness, advocating for wildlife, and helping Manitobans connect with the natural world around them through existing public education programs.

“We have enjoyed a really positive and mutually beneficial working relationship with Wildlife Haven for many years and recognize the value of the work they do to help animals that are suffering, often as a result of human activity,” said Dr. Chris Enright, Senior Director of Zoological Operations, Animal Management and Conservation at Assiniboine Park Zoo. “We are very pleased to be collaborating with them more formally on initiatives that will have direct benefits for wildlife in Manitoba and the communities we serve.”

This collaboration aims to achieve three critical goals:

Make Wildlife Rehabilitation Accessible: Ensuring that injured and vulnerable wildlife receive the necessary rehabilitative care they deserve.

Increase Education and Awareness: Spreading knowledge about Manitoba's unique wildlife and the importance of conservation among our community members.

Take Action for Conservation: Implementing tangible measures to protect and preserve our wildlife and their habitats.

To achieve our goals, we'll share practices in the field of conservation and wildlife protection, collaborate on staff and volunteer professional development and training opportunities, and engage in joint community engagement and education initiatives. We will also be exploring opportunities to collaborate on joint research and conservation projects, building on each organization’s existing programs and expertise.

“I’m so proud of this innovative approach to wild animal protection and conservation in our province!” said Zoe Nakata, Executive Director of Wildlife Haven. “Wildlife Haven and Assiniboine Park Conservancy will work closely together to positively impact native wildlife, including increasing survival of endangered species after injury, connecting with the community on conservation issues, and gathering and sharing information.”

Already, there are exciting projects underway. Visitors to the Zoo this summer may have explored the interpretive booth hosted by Wildlife Haven. Here, staff and volunteers from Wildlife Haven shared information about wildlife rehabilitation and stories of the animals in their care. Guests could learn about different rehabilitation techniques and veterinary care by trying their hand at wing wraps, fishing lure removal, and wound care on plush owls, turtles, and pelicans.

Wildlife Haven Booth

Kestrel released in Assiniboine Park

The collaboration will also see the Zoo continuing to provide crucial veterinary care and support when beneficial to animal rehabilitation cases managed at Wildlife Haven.

In addition, a new public drop-off location will be established within Assiniboine Park, providing temporary care for sick or injured wildlife before they are transferred to Wildlife Haven's facilities in Île des Chênes. This new facility, constructed from a repurposed visitation shelter generously donated by the Manitoba government, will fill a gap in this area of Winnipeg, which is home to an abundance of urban wildlife.

To mark this exciting partnership, Wildlife Haven released two American kestrels in Assiniboine Park earlier this month. These kestrels found injured and orphaned earlier this summer, were nurtured back to health at Wildlife Haven's facilities and ready to release after receiving specialized care and flight training. The Park, with its proximity to Assiniboine Forest and riparian forests along the river, offered an ideal habitat for these birds. Click here to watch the video.

It was a meaningful way to formalize our partnership, furthering the relationship between two organizations dedicated to the protection of iconic Manitoban species and habitats.

For more information about the conservation work being done by Assiniboine Park Conservancy, you can read more here. For those curious about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildlife Haven, mark your calendars for September 15th and 16th, when they'll be hosting an open house for interested visitors like you!

Zoe from Wildlife Haven and Dr. Chris from APC

Located in Île des Chênes MB, Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre has been rehabilitating injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife for their return to the wild since 1984. They are a volunteer-driven, registered charity that has cared for over 55,000 wildlife from all over Manitoba, who play a vital role in the ecological and biological processes that are essential to life itself. The 18-acre Wildlife Haven campus includes Manitoba’s only accredited Wildlife Veterinary Hospital, Central Canada’s largest Rehabilitation Centre and the Murray Education Centre and Outdoor Discovery Space. They rely on the generous support of volunteers and donors to rehabilitate wildlife and educate about the importance of awareness, appreciation, and peaceful coexistence with wildlife.