Willmar, Minn., animal shelter helps two injured raptors on the same day
WILLMAR — In a rare occurrence, the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter in Willmar provided a temporary home this week to not one but two injured birds of prey, an eagle and an owl.
Despite efforts to help them, however, both birds died Monday night at the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota.
The eagle was brought in Sunday night by citizens who spotted it struggling to fly and rescued it. The owl was delivered to the shelter Monday morning by a Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputy.
Shelter staff contacted the Raptor Center and made arrangements for both birds to be brought there, said Bobbie Bauman, director of operations at Hawk Creek Animal Shelter.
A volunteer transported them Monday afternoon to Cokato, where they were picked up by someone from the Raptor Center and taken the rest of the way to St. Paul, she said.
The Raptor Center contacted the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter on Tuesday to let the staff know the birds had died. Bauman said the eagle was able to stand in its cage at the shelter but the owl appeared to be more seriously hurt, possibly with a compound fracture of the shoulder, she said. "He wasn't able to sit up."
The Humane Society of Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties which operates the Willmar shelter can take rescued wild animals on a short-term basis but is not licensed to provide longer-term care, she said. "We can house them temporarily until we can get them to someone who can care for them."
From time to time, the animal shelter is asked to house injured birds, Bauman said. "We'll occasionally get calls."
This spring the staff provided temporary care to a kestrel, and a few years ago the shelter had a gull as a short-term resident.
But two raptors at the same time? "It's very unusual to have two birds here on the same day," she said. "That was a record."