Island Wildlife Care

British Columbia, Canada



The Experience

Travel to the wild and beautiful Vancouver Island to rehabilitate and rescue wildlife! Famous for having the highest concentration of mountain lions in the world, find out for yourself why Vancouver Island is one the best places in the world to view bears, humpback whales, Killer whales, seals, sea lions and bald eagles.

Venture to the beautiful and wild Vancouver Island and volunteer abroad with a wildlife rehabilitation project that rescues over 2,000 wild birds and mammals from throughout the Vancouver Island region. Over 85% of these orphaned and injured animals have been directly or indirectly impacted by humans. Their mission is to provide humane care to injured, orphaned, sick, and distressed wildlife based on established rehabilitation standards and the animal's natural history. Each animal is treated individually and assessed for eventual release back into the wild. In an attempt to reduce our community’s impact on wildlife, they also aim to educate the public about wildlife, animal welfare, and co-existing with nature. Working with wildlife at the centre is rewarding but physically demanding, and it is by no means an ’easy holiday option’! Animal care volunteers are needed most during the busiest summer months of April through September; however volunteering through the winter is possible. Volunteers are mainly involved in caring for smaller critters (like raccoons) and birds.


This Is Why

  • Help, rescue and rehabilitate Native North American wildlife!
  • Located 30 minutes from the beautiful city of Victoria.
  • Lying in between the ocean and the mountains there is something to do for everyone.
  • Live in a homestay with a Canadian family to improve your English and or learn about Canadian culture.

Project Details
  • Key Start Dates
    April to October
  • Volunteer duration
    8 weeks (2995 US$)
  • Average Work hours
    5 days per week, minimum 4 - 8 hours per day
  • Number of Volunteers
    4 - 5
  • Volunteer accommodation
  • Housing Type
    Homestay with A Canadian Family nearby the project
  • Internet Access
    Wireless internet included at the homestay
  • Who Are They Looking For?
    Love of the outdoors and a passion for wildlife is a priority. You should not be fussy, picky or hypersensitive about cleaning as this is one of the main chores.  We will not tolerate smoking, alcohol or the use of drugs. Please remember that you are a guest, therefore, respecting the rules is essential.

Fast Facts: Canada

Where? North America, Canada

Country Size: 9,984,670 km2
3,854,085 sq mi

Population density? 3.41/km2
8.3/sq mi

Country Famous for? Bears, Root Beer, Rocky Mountains, Skiing, Niagara waterfalls, Pacific rainforest, friendly people

When to visit: All year round, skiing and dog sledding in winter and hiking and wildlife viewing in summer

  • What's Included
    • Placement
      Wild life rehabilitation centre – Island Wildlife Care
    • Airport Pickup

      We will be waiting for you at the airport and transfer you to your Homestay accommodation nearby the project.
    • Accommodation
      A Private room in a Canadian homestay nearby the volunteer project
    • Meals
      3 meals a day included (possible catering available for vegetarians)
    • Mail-holding service
      You can use FRONTEERINGS office as a reliable address to have your mail delivered
    • Ongoing service
      If there are any problems with your volunteer project we are always there to help you and mediate between yourself and the organization.
    • Tours
      Through FRONTEERING you have the possibility to book tours in Canada after you have finished your volunteer project.
    • 24/7 Emergency contact
      If there are any problems during you stay in Vancouver you can reach us 24/7 to assist you.

    What's not included: Flights, Insurance

    Package Price:
    08 weeks: $2,995 US$

    This is a fast paced, intense, and physically demanding environment. Four hour shifts pass quickly due to regular feedings that must be kept on schedule and endless cleaning duties. Volunteers help with bottle feeding young mammals and hand feeding young birds, preparing diets for self feeding animals, cleaning and enriching animal cages, and general cleaning around the facility such as dishes, laundry, and washpad. Volunteers that are handy with tools may also help fix or build cages and other structures. Volunteers work both individually and as a team to complete the required tasks. Depending on your experience and duration you may not be allowed to handle certain animal species.
    • Feed and care for different kind of animals including mammals and birds
    • Build and maintain animal enclosures
    • Assist with capture and release
    • Educate the public

    Animal rescue and rehabilitation is fundamental to the continued conservation and protection of Canada’s diverse mammals and bird species which all need your help. This program offers volunteers ages 19-30 to help in many areas of wildlife rehabilitation. Projects are diverse and include activities such as feeding injured animals, administering medical treatments, cleaning and fixing cages, maintaining observation records, equipment maintenance, office work, answering telephones, and of course leaning about what it takes to care for animals smaller mammals and birds!

  • Requirements, Guidelines & Policies
    • Required to commit for 8 weeks (due to the short duraiton you will not be able to handle larger species)
    • Must complete 2-4 days of training and shadow a senior volunteer before starting independent shifts
    • NO SMOKING is allowed on the property.
    • Strong work ethics are required: reliable, responsible, honest, good sense of humour, dependable, physically and mentally fit.
    • Age: 18+
    • No animal allergies
    • The care of animals must be secured around the clock and work may include night shifts
    • Extreme Weather (heat & cold), dirt and living in a remote area must be something you can handle.
    • A love for animals and some general experience of caring for an animal is a must!
    • Must read and agree to abide by guidelines and ethics
    • Proof of current tetanus shot & medical insurance; Good physical stamina and health
    • Good communication skills and the ability to work alone
    • Good knowledge of the English
    • Patient and comfortable around mammals and birds
    • A valid driver’s license would be an asset, but is not required
  • Volunteer Benefits
    • A unique opportunity to work closely with wildlife and participate in offering them a chance of survival.
    • Expand knowledge and skills in animal care
    • Increase knowledge of local wildlife species, ecology, and urban wildlife management.
  • Fast Facts
    • Project location

      Western Canada, Vancouver Island

    • Area Famous For
      Black Bears, Mountains, Skiing, Surfing, Fishing, Whale Watching Pacific rainforest, friendly people, first nation cultures
    • When to visit
      All year round, in summer great for hiking, whale watching, water activities and in the winter to visit one of the nearby skiing areas. The project needs your help all year round however the most busy seasons is from March to September due to many oprhaned baby animals needing your help!
    • Wildlife viewing
      Excellent: in the nearby surroundings: bald eagles, seals, black bears, humpback whales, killer whales, coyotes, deer, skunks, raccoons.
  • Itinerary & Details
    Day 1 - Arrive in Victoria;
    You will arrive in Victoria the capital of the Canada’s British Columbia province. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your Homestay near the volunteer project.
    For 8 weeks - Help, rescue and rehabilitate orphaned and injured animals!
    For the coming 8 weeks you will have a great time working directly with many different kind of animals while be surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges and nature!
    Your last day - you will transfer back to Victoria to take a flight back home. Of course it is possible to extend your stay in Canada and travel around or visit Vancouver; we can help you with trips and/or accommodation you would like to arrange.

  • Accommodation

    Your Homestay accommodation will be arranged by FRONTEERING near the volunteer project.
    Homestay: live with a Canadian family and includes your own bedroom, laundry facility in the house, wireless internet, cable TV and 3 meals a day. Of course you can also make use of the living room, kitchen and washroom. It’s a great way to get to know the real Greater Vancouver Area and improve your English.

    Things to bring from home

    • Clothes for cold temperatures as well as for summer for warm temperatures. Make these clothes are allowed to get dirty. Make sure to bring gloves, a toque and warm socks with you.
    • Comfortable walking shoes are essential, and you should also pack a raincoat and some sun block
    • Linen and towels will be provided.


    You will be provided with 3 meals a day, specific catering available on request only.


    The volunteer project is located 15 minutes by bicycle from the town centre. It is a small coastal community (fewer than 5000 people) in Western Greater Victoria, British Columbia. Many small farmers live here (vegetables, orchards, poultry, sheep, some pigs and cattle).
    Whether it is enjoying the nature, going to the nearby coast and enjoying the sea or visiting the beautiful city of Victoria (The capital of BC), there is plenty to do near the volunteer station. There is also good connection for a multiday visit to Vancouver.

Hi Patrick, My stay was great. Everything was just perfect. I will send you some pictures as soon as I am back home again if that is okay.

Veronika from Germany

Hi Patrick, You're welcome! It's another different beautiful world and I love it! My Hostfamily is so nice  and island Wildife care project is fun! So everything is great! But it's too cold coming from Hawaii Haha :) thank you! 

Janina From Germany



This was by far the best project. My homestay family were the most amazing people. They took me with them to family gatherings and other fun things. The project itself was also so much fun. I got to feed baby birds, baby squirrels and raccoons. The project is mostly run by volunteers which creates a very familiar and cosy atmosphere.




You work 5 days a week. Three days you work one shift and two days you work two shifts. The shifts are from 8-12, 12-4 and 4-8.At the beginning of each shift you gather with all the other volunteers to divide the tasks. You either work at outdoors, at the pool pen/with the ducklings, at raccoons, at mammal 1, at avian 1 or at avian 2. Each area comes with its own responsibilities. You’re usually quite free to choose which area you want to work at, so just say that you haven’t worked with raccoons in a while so you’d like to do that again.


Whenever you have time left, you do dishes, laundry, cut up a lot of greens for the duck and goose salads, wash dirty toys or squirrel houses with the power washer or run other errands. Again, a ‘so what has to be done’ kind of thing. There is enough time to have lunch, if you need to eat just do so. You’re officially not allowed to take pictures during your work, because the Wild Arc does not want people online to see how to take care of these animals, catch them and keep them as pets. The animals at the project are cared for until they are adult enough to be able to survive in the wild. Then they are re-released to live out their full wild life.




The homestay family was absolutely amazing. I could borrow a bike to cycle to the project, but they also often brought me to the project or picked me up. The other international volunteers also spoke very positive of their homestay families. Most people could borrow a bike or were picked up. I had a private room, bathroom and kitchen. I did not use the kitchen because I ate with my homestay family. It was basically an entire apartment for myself alone! I stayed at a family with two children, and I grew to be a kind of older sister for them. I miss them a lot now that I’m back home and I would love to return to Metchosin to visit them again one day.


Metchosin and Langford/Colwood are all quite close to each other. In Colwood there is a little shopping area with a cinema, a Walmart and a whole bunch of other stores. It’s easy to cycle places because of the galloping goose trail, an old train track they made into a cycling/walking path. It’s very safe cycling, very flat and straight-on.




I’d definitely recommend this project! It is so much fun. The animals are so cute! I mean, when in your life will you get a chance to syringe-feed baby birds and squirrels and to bottle-feed baby raccoons? The raccoons were my personal favourite, they are absolutely adorable. The birds can be quite a bit stressful but if you just take time to breathe or ask for help it’s a lot of fun. You never get a chance to get this close to baby birds. And the squirrels are just so adorable. They will crawl up in your hands and love being brushed. Vancouver island is a beautiful place and I certainly recommend coming to Victoria a week in advance to visit the city and go on a whale watching tour. 




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