Meet Doink! Our four-legged employee
August 2022 – People aren’t the only workers at our Lloydminster Upgrader. Meet Doink, an English Cocker Spaniel, and one of our very own on-site risk-mitigators! Day-to-day, Doink helps to manage wildlife visitors at our upgrader and helps to create a safer environment for both wildlife and humans at site.
A wide variety of animals, including migratory birds (like gulls and Canadian geese), pose health and safety hazards at site. Especially when the migratory bird population reaches over 15,000 in the immediate area and start nesting around the the facility.
That's where Doink springs into action. In his doggy way, as a natural bird deterrent, he suggests the birds settle or build their nests elsewhere, which makes the upgrader safer for everyone, including the birds.
“Doink is a natural predator which is why this technique is so successful in deterring birds loafing and nesting on site,” explains Sheryll Amundrud, Cenovus Senior Regulatory Compliance Advisor. “With Doink’s help, the number of nesting birds at site has been reduced and therefore has reduced health and safety concerns for our team.”
Doink has been taught by his handler to cover large areas of ground, running back and forth, and adjusting his pattern based on the wind direction. He responds to verbal, hand and whistle commands, making him all the more effective in patrolling the wildlife.
With the use of his life jacket, Doink is also working on his water training. His water training began with the use of bumpers to make sure he was comfortable in the water and swimming. Like any other employee, Doink continues his training and brushes up on his skills once per year to uphold his high-level of performance.
Thanks to Doink, workers are able to carry out their daily activities with less external wildlife worries and the bird population is finding more appropriate nesting locations.
We've been keeping a close eye on the wildlife at our northern oil sands operations. Watch this video to see what we found.
Learn about Cenovus, including our operations, technology development and our community involvement. Read our stories.