ST PAUL, Minn. — For nearly 50 years, the University of Minnesota Raptor Center has been a leading facility in the treatment, rehabilitation and research of raptors.
Since opening in 1974, the center has seen thousands of avian patients come through its doors, and as of August, that number officially reached 30,000 birds.
According to the Raptor Center, an adult red-tailed hawk was brought to the facility on Aug. 7 from Corcoran, Minnesota after it was found tangled in an electric netting fence – a setup typically used to contain poultry.
The center said the hawk is believed to be a female based on its weight and width of the lower legs. Upon admission, the hawk had some soft tissue wounds on both wings, a tendon injury and an old pelvic bone fracture, and is still actively undergoing medical treatment. The center says the hawk's prognosis for a full recovery is "guarded," as her wounds continue to heal.
University of Minnesota Raptor Center's 30,000th patient
The first avian patient ever admitted to the Raptor Center 48 years ago, a Northern Goshawk, also had a wing injury, which was caused by a projectile. The center says projectile injuries remained static over the years, but injuries from raptors getting caught in different types of netting have "increased dramatically, especially over the past decade."
Though the Raptor Center currently cares for 21 birds and uses these "winged ambassadors" as part of their education program, part of the center's mission is to rehab and release raptors back into the wild. Of the birds that survive in the first 24-48 hours that they're brought to the center, more than 50% are released.
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