Beavers are Audrey's favorites. Any current resident would make himself at home in your lap, and do in hers when pint-sized, feeding and nuzzling. Since they're to return to the wild, close human contact is kept to a minimum. They're as wonderful as Grey Owl says they are, the one who used to be a trapper and lived around Parry Sound. His cabin was loaded with them, very sociable and unstoppable. Can't sit still for a minute unless they're sleeping in your bed. If you're a cottager, they could wind up gnawing your furniture. See the Aspen Valley website on how to deal with furry and feathered visitors, in a kindly way. There's a downloadable pdf, Living with Wildlife. Animals should be respected and protected. With a little understanding, they'll mind their own business, even bears.
Deer are still a delightful sight, prancing across roads and highways, so always be prepared to stop in cottage country. At Aspen Valley, unlike many zoos, they're happy here. For one thing, they're in the country, and penned in very large woodland enclosures, and that only for a time, so they can go back into the wild when they're big and strong enough. The Sanctuary is open to the public from Victoria Day through Canadian Thanksgiving, admission by donation. It's a great outing for kids and not a commercial venture. Bring a picnic lunch and roam around. Visit some animal friends. It's amazing to be able to get close to them. Over the years, as more wild animals have descended, still with no other place to go, Audrey's had to expand. Fortunately through donations and sponsors, but still no money from the government, she's been able to hire a small staff and enlist some volunteers. They're an enthusiastic lot, usually a half-dozen students from Germany, Switzerland and England, some returning year after year. It's the enchantment of the wild and wide open spaces and of course the animals. If you're a cottager, staying for the summer, check out the Sanctuary's nature study courses for your kids. Drop in and see Audrey, a great and gracious lady. She's an artist and storyteller too, inspired by her bears and beavers.