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Patoka Lake Seeking Donations For Raptor Shelter
Updated February 16, 2016 7:21 AM
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Dana Reckelhoff, interpretive naturalist at Patoka Reservoir, trained one of the Bald Eagles at the Patoka Lake Visitor Center.

(PATOKA LAKE) - Patoka Lake needs the public's help in replacing the deteriorating shelter facility where its educational bald eagle, red-tailed hawk and Eastern screech owl live.

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.

According to Patoka's interpretive naturalist, Dana Reckelhoff, the current enclosures are 30 years old and have sustained irreparable rot and mold damage from the unusually wet summer weather.

"We are now in dire need of new night and viewing shelters for the birds, and really need to see this project through as soon as possible. We have raised around $12,000 thus far." Reckelhoff said.

Building a new shelter facility is expected to cost at least $30,000, and the lake is seeking donations. All donors will be recognized with a plaque honoring their generosity in front of the new facility.

Plans for the new facility also would allow the public to view the birds whenever the Patoka Lake Nature Center is open. The current shelters have no public access, and the birds can be seen only when placed in special viewing areas on designated weekends.

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. C52 was the number on the eagle's leg band.

Individuals can also 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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