RAPID CITY, S.D. — A safety-conscious event was held despite the snow and the cold weather, a fly-by drive-thru fundraiser for the Black Hills Raptor Center.
The gathering was held in the parking lot of the Canyon Lake Methodist Church. The Raptor Center orchestrates over 100 events a year, providing education about how to conserve and protect native birds of prey. The drive-thru gave families the opportunity for a special meet-and-greet with different birds.
Along with their bio and revealing their special traits, visitors learned why the apex predators are essential to human survival. All of the birds housed by the center are injured and cannot be released into the wild.
“These birds come to us from a licensed raptor rehabilitation center and our work is governed by the U.S. Official Wildlife service, so we have to ask permission before a bird comes to us and then once we have proven that we have the skillset to handle that particular species and also the correct space to house them and keep them well and healthy, then they’ll give us permission,” said Black Hills Raptors Center Co-Founder Maggie Engler.
The Center’s main objective is to raise enough money to acquire permits that will allow a veterinary clinic in-house, in essence dropping the middle man, and making rehabilitation for the birds readily available, without having to transport them across the state to get the care that they need.