Posts Tagged ‘Tucson Wildlife Center’
Tucson Wildlife Center (TWC) and Tucson Electric Power (TEP) started construction on February 7, 2013, on two new eagle flight enclosures at TWC’s east-side property.
TWC’s current raptor enclosure isn’t large enough to be fully functional for eagle rehabilitation. The wingspan of a golden eagle can reach seven and a half feet. Most of the eagles TWC receives have lead poison and require intense and lengthy treatment. The current enclosure serves as the final stage of rehabilitation for all of TWC’s large raptors and can be very busy, but is essential to these magnificent bird’s recovery and ultimate survival in the wild. TWC has one golden eagle being rehabilitated in the current raptor enclosure.
The need for these new enclosures is a result of TWC’s increased intake, so funds were raised specifically to build two massive side-by-side enclosures. They will be the largest of their kind in Southern Arizona.
Lisa Bates, co-founder of TWC, estimates the entire project should be completed by July 2013. She says, “This is a great opportunity to showcase the cooperation between TEP and TWC and will ultimately benefit the entire community.” TEP has donated 17 power poles and volunteered man hours to set the poles and run wire across the top of the structures. Ben Cole, Architect is credited for his volunteer work in designing this one-of-a-kind custom masterpiece.
Tucson Wildlife Center offers a 24-hour emergency room, volunteer veterinarians on call, trained rehabilitation experts to care for injured and orphaned wild animals, release transportation to native habitat, and educational opportunities. All services are provided free to the public.
Photos above & below taken by me today during a visit. TEP crews constructing first of two new raptor enclosures, 10 x 15 x 80 feet and 20 x 20 x 100 feet, double the length of current enclosure.
Photos of the only Golden eagle currently at the TWC, a one year old male which was picked up on October 30, 2012 starving in Wilcox, due to lead poisoningg from eating shot prey. He will be released when his stamina has improved and the weather is warmer.
Tucson Wildlife Center is located way out east at 13275 E. Speedway. I reported in October, 2012 when they held the groundbreaking ceremony for construction of their future Sam Goodman Wildlife Hospital (click here for photos).
To report injured wildlife, call 520-290-WILD. Their current “critter count” was at 68 animals today, see photo below. No injured roadrunners are in captivity at the present there, but I did see two wild ones just running around the enclosures.
On Tuesday October 30 over 100 people – Tucson Wildlife Center volunteers, board members, supporters and community members gathered to break ground for the future Sam Goodman Wildlife Hospital, at 13275 E. Speedway (3.8 miles east of Houghton) in Pima County.
President/Founder Lisa Bates spoke of the first animal (a raccoon) that she rescued 12 years ago when all they had were a few enclosures for wildlife. Now the Tucson Wildlife Center rescues, rehabs, and releases over 800 animals a year, with the help of their 70 volunteers and donors.
District 4 Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll said that he was able to convince his fellow board members to waive the impact fees for the Center, in order to facilitate the building of the wildlife hospital. He also spoke of St. Francis of Assisi who befriended animals (mostly birds) and a lone wolf, who is often depicted at St. Francis’ feet.
Thomas Alston, representing CD 2 Congressman Ron Barber said that the Center was a “valuable asset to the community”, and James MacAdam, representing Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild spoke of the various animals city-wide that TPD or Tucson firefighters are called to rescue & assist, and turn over to the Center for rehabilitation. Animals are released if possible, but many are too injured (i.e. broken wings of birds) to release into the wild.
District 3 Supervisor candidate Tanner Bell (a former UA football “Wildcat”) was present as well, as he had just made a video PSA for the Center, along with rescued “Wilbur” bobcat, who is housed there. I got to see Wilbur in his cage, and then later outside on a leash, being fed raw venison meat. Wilbur was rescued as a tiny kitten by a Pascua Yaqui boy at a construction site, and suffers from seizures and is currently taking medication.
I took photos of various rescued birds in their cages, such as a screech owl, Great Horned owl (one with a caretaker), a leucistic (almost albino) red tailed hawk , a black vulture. Other animals at the Center such as javelinas, coyotes, raccoons, and coatis were difficult to photograph due to the lighting and movement.
Several of us toured the current facilities: the one surgery room, a small ICU, animal enclosures, office, etc. The Sam Goodman wildlife hospital will be a lot larger, having more “surgical rooms, with triage, intensive care, nursery and 24-hour care by licensed veterinarians and well-trained rehabilitators”.
More information about the center or to donate money, visit www.tucsonwildlife.com. Call to arrange a tour, or a visit by a rescued animal and trained volunteer to your school. If you come across a wild animal that needs rescuing, call 520-290-WILD.
Read my earlier post announcing this event with a PSA video (click here). And for blogger Tucson Tails’ post about Tanner Bell’s PSA: http://tucsoncitizen.com/tucson-tails/2012/10/29/tucson-wildlife-center-tanner-bell-one-wildcat-wilbur/v