Sophia is our adventurous Rescue Kitten. Her litter was discovered in the forest and veterinarians estimate she is about 8 months of age. This post reflects our adventures on Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada and our kitten’s reaction to seeing the magnificent wolf which our family was donating to an Educational and Recovery Wildlife Facility near us.
My dad, Alex Prestwich, passed away in 2007 after a lengthy battle with a major stroke, blindness, and cancer. He adored and deeply respected the wildlife on Vancouver Island and treasured each living animal.
Dad even had a raven that frequently hung out on top of a massive press inside his machine shop. Black bears, deer, and the odd cougar also came by to visit when he worked late at night.
Dad was passionate about learning and inspired so many children with his constant curiosity towards life. It was these traits that eventually spear headed decades’ long development of a wildlife taxidermy collection to inspire and educate others.
No animals or birds were killed or hunted. All animals died through accidental or natural causes, then were assessed by the conservation officer, prior to their release to my dad. All taxidermy was completed on Vancouver Island and dad would only allow the animals to be portrayed in natural and respectful poses.
When dad passed away, we knew the Canadian wildlife collection needed to find the perfect home where people would continue to love and respect the animals and environmental education would continue to be emphasized.
After substantial searching, we knew we discovered the perfect new location when we arrived at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Center in Errington.
In addition to the educational areas filled with taxidermy and media presentations; the extensive grounds were a collage of native flora gardens, ponds, and areas where black bear cubs, eagles, and injured or abandoned wildlife could heal and survive.
This non-profit organization is mainly run by volunteers who all love and care about nature and our amazing wildlife. Robin and his wife are passionate leaders who have made such a positive difference in our world. Dad would have adored touring or volunteering at this amazing facility.
On our initial trip to NIWRC we presented the entire collection (for Educational Purposes) except dad’s favorite animal, which was the Wolf.
It is painful to say good-bye to special items when you loose a loved one. But it was time to let go and share this magnificent and rare animal with the world.
Sophia knew something was up and crept hesitantly downstairs to investigate. Her tail fur totally puffed up when she spotted the wolf waiting to be transported to the NIWRC. Curiosity won and she hesitantly approached the wolf.
Ironically, the coloration of the two mammals was so similar. However, within minutes she raced back upstairs then watched from the safety of the door as the wolf was carefully transported into the truck.
Here is a short video of Sophia and the Wolf as we donate this magnificent animal to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Center.
Although much of our family lives in varying areas of Canada, we had 3 generations represented when we donated the Wolf to its new owners/educators. Thankfully this occurred just prior to covid restrictions, so masks were unnecessary for this event.
My 88 year old Mom, (Patti) was so thrilled to see the family collection on display as Robin (owner) gave us a grand tour of the grounds and educational facilities. My son, Alexander, represented the young adult generation. I represented the middle of the trio.
If you are touring through Vancouver Island and enjoy wildlife recovery and learning about Canadian wildlife, this is a amazing facility to explore. Bus loads of curious school children frequented here prior to covid lockdown and will return again soon I am sure!
When we returned home, Sophia made sure we knew it was her turn for attention once again.
Keep safe and optimistic 😉. The next posts will be adventures around Vancouver Island and skiing at Mt Washington!