Guide to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

This world-class rehabilitation facility offers animal lovers a unique opportunity to view and learn about rescued animals from throughout the region in addition to insightful and interactive educational experiences for visitors of all ages.

One of Parksville Qualicum Beach’s most popular animal attractions, the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington welcomes visitors to view and learn more about Vancouver Island’s native wildlife. The Centre is responsible for rescuing and rehabilitating injured, orphaned or ill birds, bears, turtles and other wildlife, with a goal to reintroduce as many animals as possible back into the wild, while also using their facility to educate visitors about local animal life and environmental issues.

A couple looks at an exhibit with a puma and a bear at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre.
North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. Photo credit: Jordan Dyck
“ To date, the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre has successfully rescued over 23,400 birds and animals on Vancouver Island. ”

Animals, Exhibits & Experiences

The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre rests upon eight acres in Errington and is home to several museums, exhibits and animal enclosures. Upon arrival, you’ll pass through the Museum of Nature, which uses wildlife dioramas and recorded animal calls to educate visitors about animals and their natural habitats.

Other buildings and exhibits within the grounds include the largest eagle flight cage of its kind in Canada. Nearby, catch a glimpse of any bear cubs that may be spending time at the Centre via live webcam feeds displayed on TVs. An on-site Learning Centre hosts educational demonstrations and hands-on experiences, including occasional up-close encounters with some of the resident birds.

An idyllic wildlife garden in the corner of the facility offers visitors the chance to relax as they view wildlife in a natural, mini-wetland type of habitat that is home to tadpoles, dragonflies, bees, hummingbirds and other native birds.

Given the Centre’s mission, the number and type of animals on view fluctuates, as many are ultimately — and fortunately — able to be released back into the wild. There are, however, several resident animals who are unable to be released and remain under the permanent care of the Centre’s compassionate staff. Among the more notable residents is Blizzard, an extremely rare leucistic White Raven rescued by the Centre in 2021. Considered sacred in the region, this extraordinary animal now greets guests and solves puzzles in a custom-built enclosure.

An employee at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre holds an owl as two people look on.
North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. Photo credit: Jordan Dyck

Along a winding, tree-lined trail, visitors can pass by other enclosures where they can expect to see animals such as:

  • Black Bear
  • Ravens
  • Turkey Vultures
  • Bald Eagles
  • Golden Eagle
  • Red Tailed Hawk
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Turtles
  • A variety of owl species, including Barn Owls, Great Horned Owls, Barred Owls, Great Gray Owls and a Snowy Owl, named Elsa

Special Events

In addition to its ongoing educational efforts, the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre hosts special events throughout the year. One of the Centre’s more popular events, the Annual Eagle Release, is held each spring and sees their team return successfully rehabilitated eagles back into the wild.

For a full overview of upcoming events, click here.

Give Back

Those who wish to support the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre’s mission and animals can do so in a variety of ways. Monetary donations can be made online or by mail, and non-cash goods and items — such as animal food, maintenance equipment and other materials — are accepted as well. Animal lovers are also encouraged to “adopt” one of their resident animals to directly contribute to their ongoing care and rehabilitation. Available in a variety of packages, each with their own set of rewards, “Bear Shares” directly support the needs of the bears that arrive at the Centre. For a more hands-on way to support the Centre, consider volunteering in one of several departments, including student and intern programs.

Two employees of the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre stand holding a rescued eagle.

For more ways to give back to Parksville Qualicum Beach communities and organizations, click here.

Location, Hours & Admission

The North Island Wildlife Recovery Center is located at 1240 Leffler Road in Errington, approximately 7 minutes southwest of Parksville via Alberni Highway and Ruffels Road. The Centre is open to the public daily, from 9:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Admission varies based on age. Current admission prices are as follows:

  • $15 - Adults (ages 17+)
  • $6 - Children (ages 4-16)
  • FREE - Children (ages 3 and under)
  • FREE - Veterans and active duty military

North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Take a walk on the wild side! Get up close and personal with rescued black bears, eagles, owls, falcons, ravens and other...