Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is expanding its facilities to accommodate more animals.
Shovels went into the ground this month for the construction of a new, 768-square-foot building that can be used as a nursery year-round.
“Last year alone, we had over 103 unique, different species be admitted into the facility. And so we’re at the point where we just need to expand our facilities, in particular an expansion of our nursery and small animal facility,” says Linda Glimps, the sanctuary’s executive director.
According to Glimps, they’ve seen a spike this year in the number of animals brought in either injured or orphaned by a vehicle collision. She asks drivers to slow down and watch for wildlife, to keep these numbers from continuing to climb. “At the facility right now, we already have over 400 animals admitted, and it’s still a long season ahead,” she says.
The new facility will house small or young animals, as they are rehabilitated ahead of their release back into the wild. Glimps says the species vary wildly, from raccoons, to turtles, to birds– anything the size of or smaller than an adult fox.
The building will be separated into four units, which Glimps says will keep diseases from taking hold and spreading, as well as keeping prey and predators away from each other.
“We’re trying to replicate as much as possible what they would have if they were still out in their natural environment,” says Glimps. “So we don’t want an animal that is orphaned or injured having additional stress by having the scent of what would be a natural predator to them. So it’s very important that we try to keep those species as separate as we can.”
According to Glimps, a local architect donated her time on the project, and the facility should be finished by the middle of August. In the meantime, she says any help the community can offer would be greatly appreciated.
“As a not-for-profit organization, we do rely on donations and support from the community,” says Glimps. “Financial donations are always very welcome because we can use the money where it is most needed. In this case, we are making a fairly large investment in this facility.”
Glimps adds that they’re also looking for donations of building materials such as windows, doors, lumber, metal roofing, insulation, and lighting. She says anyone looking to contribute should reach out via phone at 705-644-4122, or Aspen Valley’s website.