The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says the raptor facility at Patoka Lake is deteriorating and is looking to the public for help. The facility, which houses a bald eagle, red-tailed hawk and eastern screech owl, suffered irreparable damage last summer.
Lake officials say the unusually wet weather caused severe rot and mold damage. The lake is seeking donations to build a new facility, which is expected to cost at least $30,000.
"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," said Dana Reckelhoff, Patoka’s interpretive naturalist. "We have raised around $12,000 thus far."
The facility is used to educate the public about wildlife and nature and the current enclosures are 30 years old. The birds are used for educational purposes because they have been injured and cannot be returned to the wild. Officials say the new facility would allow the public to view the birds whenever the Patoka Lake Nature Center is open, which is not possible with the current facility.
Patoka’s raptor program is funding by donations to the C52 Fund through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. Anyone wishing to make a donation can send a check or money order to the following address:
Indiana Natural Resources Foundation
Attn: C52 Fund
402 W. Washington St. #W256
Indianapolis, IN 46204