Stefanie MacEwan & Justin Vandebelt
Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue is lead by Stefanie MacEwan, a provincially licensed wildlife custodian. She is also 1 of 3 internationally certified wildlife rehabilitators in Ontario, 1 of 30 in Canada. As a CWR her knowledge of wildlife rehabilitation and standard of care is amongst the highest in the world.
Stefanie graduated from the University of Guelph with a BSc., majoring in zoology. Stefanie has dedicated her life to both exotic, domesticated, and native wildlife, with over 20 years of experience.
Without the help and support of her husband, Justin Vandebelt, Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue would not be able to accept the large numbers of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife.
After years of balancing a full time job and everything that the wildlife hospital needed to grow, Justin joined us full-time in 2020 as the Director of Operations. He not only builds enclosures, but also maintains the grounds, guides wildlife experiences, and even heads into the community to bring education to life.
Justin also leads his team of volunteers in the construction of Soper Creek Wilderness Villas and the WILD Winter Festival of Lights!
WILD Child 1 & 2
WILD Child 1 & 2 are the driving force behind Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue. Watching their passion for all forms of wildlife validates the mission of Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue’s educational programming.
Our Wildlife Team
Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation
Nicole Countway has been part of the Soper Creek Wildlife Family since May 2018. She is the Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue, overseeing the care of animals in rehabilitation as well as the training and education of volunteers.
Prior to beginning at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue she completed a Bachelor of Science Honors in Zoology at the University of Guelph in 2016, and a Wildlife Conservation Technology Diploma at Holland College in 2018.
Nicole joined the team at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue as a Wildlife Educator, traveling around Ontario for various educational experiences. Nicole was also a co-director for the summer camp programming offered at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue for summers 2018 and 2019. Throughout her time at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue Nicole has also played a large role with care of the educational animals as well as educational programming throughout all seasons. She is a Jane of all trades!
Executive Administrator &
Wilderness Villa Co-ordinator
Marisa started at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue as a volunteer in spring 2021 and officially joined the team as a staff member the following year. Marisa works in the Admissions Office, answering our wildlife emergency hotline and admitting patients into our wildlife hospital. She also helps coordinate our volunteer program, our day experiences and our corporate sponsorships. Marisa is the smiling face that will greet you each time you visit Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue.
Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue is Durham Region’s only Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Outdoor Education Facility. Although our vision has two paths, they merge together, supporting the ideas and passion of each other.
As a wildlife rehabilitation center, we care for sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife with the goal of releasing them back into their natural habitat. Each animal, no matter how big or small plays a very important role in our ecosystem. Their involvement in the web of life affects the way humans live, the food we eat, and the earth as a whole.
As an outdoor education facility, the goal of our Nature Center is to create a hands-on learning experience for people of all ages. Located on 15 acres of the Oak Ridges Moraine visitors to our nature center will be immersed within Ontario wildlife. This journey will allow visitors and students alike to explore the natural wonders of the forest. Guests will venture to meet our permanent resident animal ambassadors, hear their story of why they can’t be released back into the wild, and share an interactive experience with them. We strive to provide an experience that provides our animals with positive interactions, and our guests and students an opportunity to share their love of all animals. Despite our animal ambassadors having a rough start to life, they have found their forever home, safe within our forest.
Whether it is the animal patients we are admitting into our rehabilitation center, or the permanent residence that call Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue home, the animal care standards they receive are above standards. We strive to ensure both the mental and physical well being of each animal is being recognized and cared for. All wild lives matter.
At Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue our educational programming focuses on Canadian wildlife. Providing our community with the opportunity to interact with native wildlife in all forms; from the calming forest, vital plant life, keystone animal species, we create an environment that nurtures our back to the roots, hands-on learning. Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue teaches empathy, improves mental health and overall wellness, reduces anxiety, encourages positive social interaction, and helps to encourage a sense of compassion for other living things.