Physicians Heal the Nobility of the Woods

By Eric Olson

June 18, 2010 Updated Jan 21, 2010 at 3:24 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--WHEN DR. PAT FUNNELL HEADS TO HER CLINIC IT’S LITERALLY A WALK IN THE WOODS. AND HER PATIENTS, WELL…THEY’RE NOT THE SORT TO KEEP LONG IN THE WAITING ROOM, LEAFING THROUGH LAST MONTH’S MAGAZINES.

Pat: These guys eat a lot of rats and mice so think what the world would be like if they didn’t eat the thousands that they do every year.

DR. FUNNELL IS THE VETERINARIAN FOR SOARIN’ HAWK RAPTOR REHABILITATION, A LOCAL VOLUNTEER GROUP THAT RESCUES INJURED BIRDS OF PREY, AND NURSES THEM BACK TO HEALTH.

Pat: Usually it’s an injury a lot of times related to people. So whether it’s a broken wing or laceration we have to take care of.

SOMETIMES THE INJURIES ARE BEYOND REPAIR. TITAN’S AN IMMATURE BALD EAGLE…HE WON’T GET HIS ICONIC WHITE HEADFEATHERS FOR ANOTHER YEAR. TITAN WAS HIT BY A CAR...HIS WING WAS CRUSHED SO HE’LL NEVER FLY AGAIN. BUT HE HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE…HE’LL HEAD TO A STATE PARK IN SOUTHERN INDIANA WHERE HE’LL BE USED TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT RAPTORS.

SHERMAN’S A SHORT EARED OWL THAT COLLIDED WITH AN AIRPLANE AT A LOCAL AIRPORT…HIS RIGHT WING WAS AMPUTATED SO HE’S HEADED FOR THE CLASSROOM AS WELL.

Pat: Adults I think are just as enthralled with them when we take them out for education programs as the kids. They’re just as interested between the tiny white screech owl and the big red tail. There’s something about each one that’s just amazing.

SOARIN’ HAWK IS NO BIRD RESORT HOWEVER. IF A RAPTOR CAN BE REHABILITATED AND RELEASED INTO THE WILD THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS. TODAY VOLUNTEERS WILL RELEASE THIS GREAT HORNED OWL. THE FIRST STEP IS TO MAKE SURE IT FLIES WELL ENOUGH.

Pat: So now since she had two really good flights no question that she’s ready to go. What we’ll do is just go ahead and release her..and this is really the payoff for all the work we have to do.

AMERICA HAS NO KINGS OR QUEENS BUT THESE MAGNIFICENT CREATURES ARE NOBILITY IN THE WILD. AND THANKS TO THE HUMANS WHO ADMIRE AND SERVE THEM, THEIR REIGN IN AMERICA’S FORESTS IS ALL BUT GUARENTEED. ERIC OLSON OUT IN YOUR COUNTRY.




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