B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops says building a new animal hospital two years ago has paid off, because the centre is now accepting more than twice as many animal rescues.

The organization is a tourist attraction, featuring local wildlife and an animal rehabilitation centre.

The new hospital allows staff to keep injured animals more comfortable, said Adrienne Clay, an animal health technologist at B.C. Wildlife Park's animal hospital.  

"Moving up to this is just day and night, the difference," she said.

"Being that I can  segregate them into rooms of raptors, rooms of waterfowl. It really reduces their stress so they're doing much better too."

The park takes in about 450 animals for rehabilitation each year, up from an average of 200 before the new hospital was built, according to Clay.

fly pen bc wildlife park hospital

This fly pen is one of the rooms in which staff can house wildlife while they are being rehabilitated at the B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops. (Adrienne Clay/B.C. Wildlife Park Kamloops)

The building houses a treatment room, a lab, a surgical suite and plenty of storage space, allowing staff to accept more equipment donations.  

The new space has also made it possible for staff and volunteers to maintain an approximately 40 per cent rehabilitation rate — almost half of the animals that they take in are released back into the wild, said Clay.

Great horned owls

These two great horned owls are ready for release, says Adrienne Clay. (Adrienne Clay/B.C. Wildlife Park Kamloops)

It's the most rewarding part of the job.

"We end up seeing, in wildlife rehab, so many sad stories," she said.

"Having a whole bunch of animals we're able to release, it makes everybody, from the volunteers to the staff, feel like what we do is worthwhile."

Birds at the wildlife centre

With files from CBC Radio's Daybreak Kamloops

To listen to the full interview, click the link labelled: Birds ready for release after being rehabilitated.