BOWMANVILLE, Ont. — An Ontario wildlife rescue centre that collected donations for an extensively injured muskrat says the animal has died but some of the funds raised will pay for an autopsy for the rodent.
Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue founder Stefanie MacEwan says the muskrat, that staff dubbed George, was brought to them on Monday night by a woman who said she found the animal in a diaper box in a creek while fishing in Port Hope, Ont.
MacEwan says both sides of George's mouth had been cut, his teeth were broken and he had injuries to his left eye.
MacEwan says Port Hope police are investigating the matter.
She says rescue centre staff treated the muskrat for its pain and took the animal to a veterinarian on Tuesday, but learned Wednesday morning that George had died during the night.
MacEwan says more than $3,100 raised through a GoFundMe page will be used to pay George's vet bills, pay for a detailed autopsy and help build a specific rehabilitation enclosure for semi-aquatic mammals that come to the Bowmanville, Ont., facility.
Little known about muskrats
She said the GoFundMe campaign was started because the centre wanted to get George the best possible care. There are few experts in the muskrat field, so staff had to consult a muskrat specialist in the U.S., MacEwan said.
"We're also still going to send off all the X-rays and everything that was done here down to the states just so we have a bank of information for the next time we do get a muskrat," she said.
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George's remains will be sent to the Ontario Veterinary College located in Guelph, Ont., for an autopsy, MacEwan said.
She said it is hoped the autopsy will add to the knowledge base about muskrats, their unique biology and provide answers about what happened to George.
Posts detailing George's ordeal were shared thousands of times on Facebook.
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