It’s a Wild, Wild Life

large hawk coming in for a landing in a field of hay

Thursdays on the News/Talk 1290 Morning Show, we host a segment titled Ask Me Anything. Our guest is someone with an unusual job or hobby. Last week, we welcomed Brian Salt, founder of Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre in Mount Brydges. 

Brian Salt flanked by me and Ken in front of the 1290 CJBK banner

Brian founded the Centre more than three decades ago. It’s a not-for-profit venture people can call when they’ve found an injured wild animal and don’t know what to do. They also devote a lot of resources to teaching well-meaning people about how wildlife ought to be treated. It goes beyond not feeding raccoons at the back door. Salt would like us to stop tossing apple cores out the car window in the country. Yes, animals will find and eat it but they will also be drawn closer to the road. This greatly increases their chances of getting hurt.

Brian Salt and his army of volunteers had to learn about wild animals through trial and error. Three-quarters of their clients are avian. However, when the Virginia opossum started hitchhiking rides north on tractor-trailers, they suffered in our winters, if they survived at all. Many were brought to Salthaven but not much was known about how to care for them. Virginia opossums are marsupials that have four opposable thumbs (or two thumbs and two toes). They had a 90% mortality rate until a pregnant opossum was surrendered and clinicians were able to see that babies feed by swallowing Mom’s long teat. Otherwise, milk just ran out of their mouths. From then on, survival rates went to 90%.

Ken and I often call Ask Me Anything our favourite segment of the week because we get to learn things and no question is off limits. It’s also the most difficult segment to book because of the nature of it. If you know someone with a fascinating job or hobby who might be willing to join us, please let me know! We can even do it by phone.

The entire interview with Brian Salt is HERE.

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