Foxes, Birds & Bears.. Oh My!

Take a walk on the wild side with our exciting "Foxes, Birds & Bears.. Oh My!" program that showcases the world of wildlife rehabilitation! Learn the who, what, where, why and how of Cochrane Ecological Institute.  Explore how we are devoted to the preservation and conservation of both cultural and biological biodiversity. Find out why there is an increase in orphaned and injured species and what we can do to prevent this so we can have healthy and resilient ecosystems. 

Learn how to identify if a wild animal is in trouble and what you can do to help. Let us share what happens when we rescue, and rehabilitate wildlife and what is needed to be done before we can release them back into the wild where they belong. Look at how we monitor wildlife at our facilities and in the wild, through non-intrusive methods to ensure their health and safety. 

There are words that need to be learned if we want to work towards saving our wild 
world. EXTINCT means that a wild species has vanished forever from our planet, never to be seen again. EXTIRPATED means that a wild species has vanished from its native habitat. For example, Swift foxes were once found from the North Saskatchewan River south to the Texas panhandle but by 1930, Swift foxes were gone from Canada, The Northern prairies States , the USA - they had been extirpated. REINTRODUCTION means that Indigenous wild species that have been bred in captivity are returned to the native habitat from which they had been extirpated. TRANSLOCATED means wild animals in one area are captured, removed and taken to another area and released.

Let us share our unique Swift Fox Reintroduction program, the first one in North America to successfully return extirpated Indigenous wild species to the wild. The Swift Fox was once extirpated from Canada, but through our unique partnerships and teamwork we were able reintroduce this special little fox to the prairies of North America and put it back where it belonged.

Take a tour of CEI through a mapping activity of our 140 Acres reserve. Groups will take a piece of CEI and find out where is goes and what its importance is in the big picture, from our opening gates to our flight pens, animal care center, interpretive center, buffalo pen, bear enclosure, chicken coop and Happy Tails Pet Retreat.

Finally, take a look and feel through our large array of biofacts to get up close and personal to wildlife around us. Examine everything from horns, to antlers, furs, quills, feathers and talons.  Then be detectives and try to match the pictures of these beautiful animals with their biofacts!

Program Parameters:

  • Best suited for class sizes of 25-30 students

  • Class Presentation is ~ 45- 60 minutes in length

  • Please provide access to do a PowerPoint

  • Ensure we have tables to set up the biofacts

This class aligns with the Alberta Program of Studies curriculum for Kindergarten and Grades 1 to 6.  This program is linked to the Service Badges (Guides, Scouts, JFW) for Elementary School aged youth.

To book our "Foxes, Birds & Bears.. Oh My!" program, please send us an email to

Program Testimonials 

Reviews of our amazing Foxes, Birds & Bears.. Oh My! Program!

"Thank you Cochrane Ecological Institute for the fun filled presentation! Our kindergarten class had an excellent and informative afternoon learning about local wildlife and how we can respectfully coexist with them.”

-My Little Schoolhouse in Bragg Creek (2023)