A big project is underway at the Tucson Wildlife Center on Tucson's east side.
Thanks to donations of time, material, and labor from the Tucson Electric Power Company, the center has started construction on what will soon be the largest eagle flight enclosures in Southern Arizona.
The facility on East Speedway Boulevard treats injured desert animals. Currently they have about 68 animals in their care - everything from orphaned bobcats, to javelina, coyotes, skunks, and birds of prey injured in the wild. Their mission is to treat the injured animals and release them back into the wild.
The center is nursing about 26 birds of prey back to health. One of them is a golden eagle found emaciated and near death in Willcox.
Staff say the current raptor enclosure is not large enough to be fully functional for eagle rehabilitation. The wingspan of a golden eagle can reach 7 1/2 feet. Most of the eagles the facility takes in have lead poisoning, and require intense and lengthy treatment.
The current enclosure serves as the final stage of rehabilitation for all of the center's large raptors and can be very busy, but is essential to these magnificent bird's recovery and ultimate survival in the wild, according to staff.
Lisa Bates, co-founder of the Tucson Wildlife Center said the need for these new enclosures is a result of their increased intake, so funds were raised specifically to build two massive side-by-side enclosures. They will be the largest of their kind in Southern Arizona.
The enclosures are expected to be completed by July, 2013.
"This is a great opportunity to showcase the cooperation between TEP and TWC and will ultimately benefit the entire community," said Bates.
TEP has donated 17 power poles and volunteered man hours to set the poles and run wire across the top of the structures. Ben Cole, Architect is credited for his volunteer work in designing this one-of-a-kind custom masterpiece.
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