The Muskoka Wildlife Centre was in attendance at the Dwight Winter Carnival. These fine folks devote their time to rescuing and rehabilitating animals, and to housing for life those creatures that for various reasons can never be returned to the wild. They will be the first to tell you that wild animals are wild, should be wild, and don't make great pets, so quickly please cross that bobcat off your list of potential pets.
All the same, some of their 'forever' residents have wonderful careers as ambassadors and educators, and the Centre does a great job introducing people to some of our wild neighbours.
At the Dwight Carnival, they had Clover, the 'whistle pig' (ground hog). We rely on Clover every Feb. 2nd to let us know how much winter remains...
There was Luna, a tiny saw-whet owl: these delightful birds get their name because the sound they make is akin to whetting a saw blade. It's perhaps a little short on tune, but absolutely distinctive.
Yeti the lynx was along, strikingly beautiful, with enormous paws. The lynx has the largest feet in proportion to it's body of any cat in the world. When they are full grown their feet can be the same size as a full grown mountain lion (cougar).
Woodrow the Beaver was there, too. You may have seen him recently, in Vancouver or Whistler, helping to promote the 2010 Olympics. Despite his fame, Woody was quite happy to let small fingers feel his thick soft waterproof fur!
And, of course, Quillber, the Porcupine came out to say hello. He's big, and has about 30,000 quills... and no, he cannot "shoot" them at you, anymore than you can shoot your own hair out of his head. And yes, you CAN pet a porcupine... but you must do so very carefully! The quills feel quite silky and rather surprisingly soft.
You can meet all these animals for yourself at the Muskoka Wildlife Centre -- admission is free for children (with an adult along!) during March, and the Centre is easily located right along Hwy. 11, on your way north to Dwight, and Bondi Village, so you should think about adding this to your 'bucket' list, along with coming north for March Break!
"Here at the Muskoka Wildlife Centre, we believe people protect only what they love and can love only what they understand"