The Sleepy Heads of Winter

by Jennifer Howard

Time for Freedom

The Sleepy Heads of Winter

Some people say when winter comes that they wish they could go south or hibernate. Well, although some wildlife can’t go south, they do go into hibernation. During late summer and fall, some are very busy finding food and caching it in their dens so they can get through the winter months, when winter gets bad, while others go into a torpor state.

Bears would be an example of this, although, for them, it is not a true hibernation, but semi-hibernation. This month’s article, I will go through a few species and talk about hibernating for the winter, which by the way, there are many days I wish I could hibernate too! LOL.

So basically, surviving the winter months by wildlife is done in many ways. Some develop a camouflage look, like ermine, arctic fox and snowshoe hare, turning white so they are not easy to spot by their predators. Some full out hibernate, and others go into what is called a torpor state. Decreased heart rate, breathing and metabolic rate changes are experienced by these animals.

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Procyon Wildlife Hosts

Two Day Intro Course by the IWRC

(International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council)

on Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation

January 11-12, 2020

If you are interested in attending, please visit: https://theiwrc.org/courses or call 1-866-871-1869 ext. 2 to register.


Many thanks to Mike from Town Bloom!

Mike generously donated left over unsold Christmas trees. This will provide wonderful enrichment for our wildlife guests.

To learn more about Town Bloom please visit https://www.thetownbloom.com/


A Big Thank You to Lefroy Harbour Resorts Inc.

We want to thank Lefroy Harbour Resorts Inc. and Mark for choosing Procyon to receive a wonderful donation of $1200.00! From left to right - Angela our website creator, Debra, custodian, Mark, Jennifer, our photographer and Crystal, our animal care coordinator.


We love our porcupine patients!

Did You Know? Porcupines have no quills on their bellies?

Fishers* are their biggest and most expert predator in the wild as they have learned to flip them on their backs in order to avoid the very painful quills.

* The fisher is a small, carnivorous mammal and a member of the mustelid family (commonly known as the weasel family).


Looking for a Simple Way to Help Procyon?

If you are looking for a simple way to help our wildlife charges at Procyon, and have any empty liquor bottles and beer bottles from the holidays, we would be happy to accept your donation.

You can drop off bottles at the Procyon roadside shed or if the gate is open, at the front porch. We are located at 6441 7th line, Beeton.

This is just another way you can make a difference!

Thank you and Happy New Year!


Procyon Sponsor an Orphan Program

Our sponsorship package includes your choice of baby animal to sponsor, a picture and a certificate of the baby animal.

The animals that are currently available for sponsorship are: Bats, Fawns, Raccoons, Opossums, Squirrels, Cottontails and Porcupines.

For more details, visit https://www.procyonwildlife.com/sponsor-a-baby-animal/ or email us at info@procyonwildlife.com


Talitha when she was a toddler!

Did You Know? the fox has a big tail for balance just like a cat? They also use their tales for warmth in winter as well as to communicate with other foxes?

Watch the story of baby fox kit Talitha! Cared for, released back to the wilds by Procyon Wildlife! So proud to see this beautiful video by The Dodo!

Click here to see the video!




While most animals use either sight, sound, or smell to hunt, raccoons rely on their sense of touch to locate goodies.

Their front paws are incredibly dexterous and contain roughly four times more sensory receptors than their back paws—about the same ratio of human hands to feet.

This allows them to differentiate between objects without seeing them, which is crucial when feeding at night. Raccoons can heighten their sense of touch through something called dousing.

To humans, this can look like the animals are washing their food, but what they're really doing is wetting their paws to stimulate the nerve endings. Like light to a human's eyes, water on a raccoon's hands gives it more sensory information to work with, allowing it to feel more than it would otherwise.


Procyon's Wish List

We are looking for a volunteer to provide driveway snow removal to maintain access to the wildlife that overwintering at Procyon.

We are urgently looking for the following supplies:

• Large glass food storage containers for our small mammal room (as shown in picture on the right).

• Small container units for doing blood tests.

• Disposable surgical gloves – all sizes, latex or latex-free.

• Rectal thermometer.

• Portable digital x-ray machine.

• IV fluid pump.

• Oxygen concentrator OR Oxygenator.

• Large oxygen tanks.

• Incubators.

• Large Digital floor bench pet scale.

• Trail Cam

• Metal garbage cans.


• Gas gift cards for Lawn mower & snow blower

• Grocery gift cards for purchasing fresh produce

• Home Improvement cards for animal enclosures

• Canadian Tire money

• Staples gift cards

To see our complete list, click here


Interested in Helping Wildlife in Need? Procyon Wildlife Centre Needs YOU!

If you or someone you know might have a few extra hours per day to answer our hotline phones, please contact us at info@procyonwildlife.com

All training will be provided by Procyon.


Rabies Surveillance as of December 18, 2019

We are currently at 471 cases of raccoon strain, and 21 cases of fox strain rabies in Ontario since December 2015.

For the full report and area map click here.

This is Harry!

Procyon Wildlife Education Programs

 If you are a parent or a teacher, or the manager of a company or organization, your school or business can benefit from our Wildlife Education Programs.

For more information, please contact us at info@procyonwildlife.com
or call 905.729.0033.

HELP is in YOUR hands!


Our Mission: Procyon Wildlife is dedicated to working with our communities in an effort to help wild animals in need of care. Our goals are to rescue, rehabilitate and safely release these animals, and to promote public appreciation for wildlife preservation.