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Donations Needed For New Raptor Shelter At Patoka
Updated September 21, 2015 11:06 AM | Filed under: Natural Resources
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(PATOKA) - The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is looking to raise $30,000 for a new shelter for Patoka's resident educational bald eagle and Eastern screech owl.

Patoka's Interpretive Naturalist Dana Reckelhoff, says they are in dire need of new night and viewing shelters for the birds, and really need to see this project through as soon as possible.

The current enclosure is more than 30 years old and irreparable rot and mold damage from the unusually wet summer weather.

The raptors at Patoka Lake are birds that have been injured and cannot be returned to the wild. . They are used to educate the public about the importance of wildlife and nature.

The screech owl is 4 years old and has been at Patoka since August of 2011. He was hit by a truck and suffered a right-wing injury and prevents him from flying properly.

The eagle arrived at Patoka Lake in December of 2013 when she was 11 months old. She was born at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. When she was 5 weeks old, the tree her nest was in collapsed, breaking her right wing in three spots.

Reckelhoff says the birds are a valuable asset to the interpretive services, saying thousands of people have enjoyed seeing the birds.

The new shelter for the birds will cost at least $30,000 and would allow the public to view the birds whenever the Patoka Lake Nature Center is open. The current shelter has no public access, and the birds can be seen only when placed in special viewing areas on designated weekends.

All donors will be recognized with a plaque honoring their generosity in front of the new facility.

Patoka's raptor program is funded entirely by donations to the C52 Fund through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. The fund is named after Patoka's first educational bald eagle, who lived at Patoka from 1989 to 2009 and served as an ambassador for conservation. who died in 2009, after spending more than 20 years at Patoka. C52 was the number on the eagle's leg band.

To support the new shelter, donors can send money directly to the C52 fund by mailing a check or money order to: Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, Attn: C52 Fund, 402 W. Washington St., #W256, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

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