Birds and other wildlife are often the unintended victims of rodent poison
VHS supporter Yasmin Abidi helped rescue what appeared to be an injured owl last week in North Vancouver. It later emerged that the owl had been poisoned, most likely by rodent poison.
Yasmin and several other Good Samaritans found the owl in a tree near a main road, bleeding and being attacked by crows.They contacted the Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (OWL) in Delta and protected the bird until OWL staff arrived to take it back to their clinic for examination.
The examination found that the owl had ingested rodent poison and needed immediate treatment. Nicknamed “Lucky” by Yasmin, the owl is expected to recover, thanks to her quick actions.
It also emerged that the owl had been poisoned three weeks earlier (and treated by OWL), indicating such poisonings are not uncommon.
Wildlife are often the victims of poisons used by businesses, landlords, municipalities and homeowners to control rodent populations.These “secondary poisonings” happen when birds of prey or other predators eat poisoned rodents and can cause a slow and painful death.
The BC SPCA has more information on how you can help wildlife by decreasing the amount of rat poison in the environment. If you find sick or injured wildlife you can contact one of the organizations listed by the Wildlife Rehabilitators’ Network.