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Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostend

Mission of the organisation

Wildlife Rescue Centre Ostende (WRCO) is based in the middle of the Belgian coast, the history lies in the 1980’s with the hundreds of oiled birds that beached every winter due to chronic oiling.

Since 2009, a new and till today still growing professional accommodation is the working place for 10 staff members. Together with dozens of volunteers, over 6000 animals are received annually, across all native species.

Networking runs through a daily work with active cooperation with Flemish, Belgian and Dutch organisations and the University (TBC) which runs a long term study on gulls.

To share the knowhow, WRCO runs European volunteer programs and participates in organising trainings within European (EUROWA) and global oiled wildlife organisations (SAF, GOWRS).

Within these networks, WRCO responded to several large oil spills globally.

Area of expertise

  • (Oiled )Wildlife rehabilitation
  • Emergency spill response: set-up, management, rehabilitation
  • Training & exercises

EUROWA Charter signed in 2020

Involvement in European preparedness/EUROWA since 2009

Partner organisation

Wildlife Rescue Center Oostende

How would you explain your job to a five year old?

We run a hospital for sick and injured wildlife. I make sure other people can help these animals and especially birds that get oiled after ship accidents.

What do you love most about your job?

The variety between people, animals, science; between the daily tasks of a wildlife hospital and the targets to make it grow; and the unexpected challenges during emergencies.

What are the trickiest situations that you face as part of your job?

You are never finished with the job(s). If you work on one thing, other things keep waiting.

What was you dream occupation as a child?

Wildlife ranger.

If you were a superhero, what would your secret power be, and why?

Going back in time to correct mistakes.

How can people get in touch with you?

Mail pigeon…… or


Partner organisation

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Opvangcentrum logo
General Assembly members
Isabelle Allemeersch
Claude Velter
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