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Raptor Rehabilitation Center Holds Grand Opening

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MARION COUNTY -

It was all celebration Sunday as the ribbon was cut to open the new Raptor Rehabilitation Center on Bunner Ridge Road in Marion County.

Founder and Executive Director, Michael Book, said the new space will allow them to take better care of birds in need.

"We have luxuries of being able to be more efficient here plus, there is nothing that says the working conditions for the volunteers has to be terrible. We were in an old horse barn. It had no running water. It did have electricity and in the ICU we had heat, little space heaters to keep for the birds that we were caring for in the winter time. Past that, it was about as crude as you could imagine," said Book.

Employees of the center are all volunteers from various backgrounds.

Jessica Brobst, who has been a volunteer for just a short time, said she is amazed by the birds every time she is working.

"You know these are the kinds of animals, when you see them it's like in the sky. They're never anywhere where you can study them or touch them and hold them. You know, and it's just amazing," said Brobst.

The new facility will house more than double the amount of raptors than the previous rehab center. Most of the birds will be released once they are healthy. However some birds whose conditions are not suitable for the wild will be kept for the center's education program.

Book notes that the education program is an important tool for the center, because there is so much unknown information about the wildlife they are helping.

"Believe it or not, there is as much, almost as much lack of knowledge. Almost everyday we learn something new."

Volunteers with or without experience are encouraged to help. Head over to their website www.wvrrc.org to learn more.