Humane Society helps newcomers learn about urban wildlife

Humane Society helps newcomers learn about urban wildlife

The cute rabbits were a big hit!

On Sunday, July 22, OCISO’s Friends of the Family and Peer Support Programs partnered with the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS) to put on July’s monthly event for newcomers on the theme of Urban Wildlife.

As OCISO Program Coordinator Bonnie Thornington recounts:

“It was a family-friendly event which welcomed newcomers of all ages to learn about our country’s urban wildlife.

“There was a special presentation which touched upon various scenarios: what should I do if I find a bird/squirrel in my house, how do I ensure my garbage and green bin is protected from animals?

“There was also a bird nesting craft and colouring station, a guide for tips and tricks to wildlife, yummy snacks and probably the favorite feature – two cute rabbits for everyone to interact with!”

The CBC’s Krystalle Ramlakhan was on hand and interviewed OHS co-ordinator Kristen Brooker:

“There might be some people that are new to our city who may not have the information about these wild animals, might be unfamiliar with them, might not know what to do in different situations.”

Krystalle also interviewed some of the newcomer participants.

Tasneem Ashour, 13, and Abdelrahman Amin, 16, moved to Canada from Saudi Arabia five months ago. The siblings said the event was a cool experience:

“I really like animals in general, so when I heard about this I just had to come,” Amin said. “Now I know how to take care of an injured animal or what to do if I see a certain animal in front of me.”

“It’s a very good experience for me, and I learned how to take care of animals and if they’re injured how to treat them,” said Ashour, who hopes to adopt a dog or rabbit.

Amin said meeting people with similar interests was also a highlight.

“It’s a different environment and … you’re meeting different people. I like that very much. And different cultures, too,” he said.

“When you find someone who shares the same hobby as you, it’s really fun to talk about it with them, and you have something to bond [over]. You have something in common.”

Their younger brother, Omar Adham, also said he liked learning about local wildlife.

“I see raccoons and I see rabbits in my backyard and I see so many birds,” he said. “It’s good and nice to know more things about animals.”

Tolulope Alufohai brought her two sons, Ayomide and Imokhimi, to Sunday’s event. They moved from Nigeria and have been living in Canada for seven months.

Alufohai said she appreciated the educational gathering and getting the chance to mingle with people from different cultures.

“It’s very interesting for us to learn about the wildlife here,” she said. “You know it helps us to blend with it so we don’t get scared.”

Thanks to the Ottawa Humane Society for offering this training session to newcomer participants in OCISO’s Friends of the Family and Peer Support Programs!

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