The Business of Wildlife Rehabilitation
We often don’t hear about wildlife rehabilitation. Many of us don’t even know what it is.
But if you wanted the dictionary example of selflessness, a wildlife rehabilitator would fit the bill.
Wildlife rehabilitators include Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Centre. Salthaven is a Canadian non-profit that rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, while educating local communities of the threats humans can pose towards animals.
Brian Salt, the founder of Salthaven, operates a network of more than a hundred volunteers who work meticulously to nurture thousands of injured, sick, and dying wildlife back to health. Running purely on donations and sponsorships, Salthaven faces more difficulties than ever trying to meeting the demand. Over four thousand requests for rehabilitations are received each year, the majority of which are turned down.
Limited by the small property on which they operate, medical procedures performed by Salthaven volunteers take place in a shack on a small piece of rented farmland. This unsustainable solution cannot last Salthaven much longer, thus, they seek to to expand their operations to accommodate more animals.
In order to do so, they need the help of donors big and small. A new home for Salthaven would help them serve five thousand animals each year. This new home requires $1.2 million to acquire — $1.2 million that Salthaven is unable to bear the cost of without the help of gratuitous citizens.
In partnership with the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in London Ontario, students attending the LEAD Global summer business program were asked to produce viral videos to help raise awareness of Salthaven.
In attempting to benefit the organization while taking into consideration the elements of virality and social media, the students worked meticulously to collect, organize, and edit footage of the animals and efforts of Salthaven, and in doing so, created grassroots marketing campaigns to complement the release of their videos.
The videos that they made provided not only awareness of Salthaven’s rehabilitation efforts, but also taught students valuable lessons in multimedia/digital production, marketing, teamwork, and time management.
This work was adapted from an article published in Nerve Spark.