An injured owl recovers at the Toronto Wildlife Centre.

Toronto Wildlife Centre needs to replace x-ray machine

Fundraising campaign seeks to raise $25,000

Last September a Cooper’s Hawk hit a window while flying around Toronto.

The veterinarians at the Toronto Wildlife Centre were worried that it might have a fracture on its collarbone and a skull fracture over its eye.

They had to do an x-ray. The wild animal had to be put under anesthesia to make sure that it was stabilized, but halfway through, they had a problem with the x-ray machine and had to stop. They were only able to do one x-ray but more were needed.

This is a situation the Toronto Wildlife Centre faces every day. The centre is the only clinic in the GTA that performs x-rays, surgeries and other regular medical procedures specifically for wild animals.

Every year the TWC treats over 5,000 wild animals, but is having difficulty providing adequate care, due mainly to old and outdated equipment.

Registered veterinary technologist, Maureen Lilley said the only x-ray machine at the centre is on its last legs.

“We are facing more and more intermittent problems with the machine.  It is getting older and the software is ageing,” she said. “It is almost 10 years old and the software has become obsolete.”

TWC is now trying to buy a refurbished second hand machine but the cost, at $25,000 threatens to take a big out of an already tight budget.

Still, says the executive director of the TWC, Nathalie Karvonen, a reliable x-ray machine is vital:

“That is the big pressing need, because some days ours doesn’t work at all. To continue our effort to give medical care to wild animals we need to replace the present one.”

TWC has a fundraising page on indiegogo.com where donations from the public will go towards a new machine.

TWC is also promoting their fundraiser through social media, electronic newsletters and reaching out through traditional media.

The campaign will run to November 18 and as of late October had already raised $11,000, said Karvonen.