Animal Instincts

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Image shows woman in thick jacket and gloves holding a bear cub.

Those of us who have the pleasure of working with Colleen Bailey know about her secret identity.  Graphic designer by day, she’s a rescuer of animals by night (or whenever they need her, actually).

Founder of the non-profit East Kootenay Community Animal Response and Education Society (EK CARES), Colleen doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t interested in and involved with animal rescue.

You may have heard about her recovery of two orphaned bear cubs in May of 2014 (they are now doing very well in a rehab facility and will be released back into the wild soon).  She also spent weeks of her time locating an abandoned dog last summer.  Once she captured him, she named him Sampson and spent many hours rehabilitating him. In the end, she couldn’t think of a better place for him to be and adopted him into her furry family (which consists of two cats, two dogs and a bunny rabbit named Dottie).

Her rescue efforts are not limited to four-legged creatures.  She was quick to help out a College co-worker who had discovered an injured merlin (a small species of falcon).  Colleen made arrangements to send it off to a rehab facility where it received the care it needed to heal.  Once it was fully-recovered, the merlin was returned to Colleen so she could have the pleasure of releasing it back into the wild herself.

Some of the other animals Colleen has been called on to rescue have included a loon, a turkey vulture, a muskrat, a golden-eye duck, snakes, wild rabbits, and of course, kittens and dogs.  She has even had the pleasure of bottle feeding kittens, puppies and baby bear cubs.

Always humble about her rescue work, Colleen doesn’t see what she does as extraordinary.  We disagree!  Injured and abandoned animals in the East Kootenay are very lucky to have such an amazing advocate.