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Hope for Wildlife seeing increased need with record-high temperatures in the Maritimes

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With record-breaking temperatures throughout the Maritimes this week, it’s not just humans who are feeling the heat.

Hope for Wildlife is a wildlife rehabilitation and education centre in Nova Scotia, and it’s home to many different species, all of which adapt to the heat in different ways.

“Some love to take mud baths, some like water supply to cool off, they all have different ways to cope with this heat and some of them are just really enjoying it,” said Hope Swinimer, founder of Hope for Wildlife.

With the heat at such a high level, Swinimer says they need to take extra measures in order to ensure the animals are living comfortably.

“We’re making sure we have thermometers in every single unit here so that we can keep a really watchful eye, we’re careful to provide lots of water and check those water bowls constantly,” she said.

“If temperatures reach 29 to 30, we immediately evacuate the animals into a cooler place, so there’s lots of work added to our day just to make sure the animals are OK.”

Two baby skunks are seen at Hope for Wildlife. (Mike Lamb/CTV Atlantic)

Swinimer says Hope for Wildlife has seen a 17 per cent increase of admissions compared to where they were at this time last year, and she attributes much of that to the warm weather the region has seen this year.

While it’s not recommended to feed wild animals, Swinimer says there are things people can do to help the wildlife through the heat.

“It’s perfectly acceptable to put out some water basks and some water bowls, but think about where you place them. Have some high up for the songbirds to bathe in and some on the ground for the ground-dwellers,” she said.

Swinimer also says having bushes and trees in your yard is a great way to help the wildlife, as it gives animals shade and provides a place for them to hide from predators.

With files from CTV's Mike Lamb. 

Click here for a photo gallery of our visit to Hope for Wildlife.

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