Jason and Corinna Harvey, who spend a lot of their time around animals through their work on Rimrock Ranch, realized in 2019 there was no rehab centre for injured wildlife near their home in Dawson Creek.
Bears and other carnivores are looked after by the government, but there was nowhere for injured or compromised deer, moose, and other ungulates to go to be rehabilitated back to health. Enter the Rimrock Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre — a place where injured animals across the Peace region are brought until they are ready to be released back into the wild.
The non-profit centre is certified by the provincial government, and the Harveys receive calls from conservation officers informing them of animals that have either been hit by a car or survived an attack, and which are then brought to the centre. Corinna is a veterinarian for the federal government, so this is right in her wheelhouse. And her kids, William and Mariah, are having a blast feeding the animals and helping them regain their strength.
"The kids enjoy it, and are out there every three hours taking turns with the moose. We have two people on rotation for feeding, so that the animals don't get accustomed to certain people. There is no petting them or anything like that," said Jason.
He's referring to two young moose currently at the centre. They are currently building permanent pens to house and nurse animals, and replace the temporary ones currently in use. When the centre started last year, they rehabilitated two deer — one survived while the other didn't make it.
Once the animals have healed and regained strength, Jason said they do a soft release on the Crown land near their ranch. This August, they will let the animals out each day, and they will return at night, until they are ready to be fully released.
Jason said he's noticed a huge need and appreciation for this service in the region. So far, the centre has received animals from near Chetwynd, Fort St. John, and Dawson Creek.
"We have had an overwhelming response of support overall. We're not activists by any means, we hunt and fish. But I'd rather we release a bull moose back into the wild and he is eventually harvested rather than left to die from being hit by a car. That's a success story to me."
The Harveys are a busy family. In addition to their rehab centre and ranch — where they raise cattle, horses, turkey, and chickens — Jason works in the oil industry and Corinna is a vet. Still, the heavy work-load doesn't stop the family from doing whatever they can to help out the wildlife in the region.
If you see an injured animal or for more information, contact Jason Harvey at 250-719-9575.
Email reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.