Raptor Rehabilitation Program
The Raptor Rehabilitation Program at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine is committed to unmatched care for all raptors including eagles, falcons, hawks, and owls. Each year, WSU's Veterinary Teaching Hospital treats approximately 100 sick and injured raptors that may have been hit by automobiles, burned by power lines, poisoned, or found starving because of loss of prey. The Raptor Rehabilitation Program provides medical care, food, and shelter to sick or injured birds, returning them to the wild whenever possible. The mews in the Stauber Raptor Facility house recovering and resident birds.
Resident birds that are not able to be returned to the wild are cared for at the college and participate in public education programs through the WSU Raptor Club, a non-profit volunteer organization founded in 1981. The raptors and club volunteers visit service organizations, fairs, summer camps, and schools to educate children and adults about raptor conservation and the lives of these magnificent birds. Public presentations have given thousands of people in the Pacific Northwest the opportunity to learn about their ecological importance, their biology, and their beauty.
The Raptor Rehabilitation Program relies on the support of private individuals, public agencies, and businesses to provide the advance level of raptor care and the extraordinary veterinary training opportunities we have developed. Horizon Air has been a long-time supporter, donating air transportation of injured or sick raptors to the WSU teaching hospital for treatment.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT INJURED OR ORPHANED WILDLIFE: WSU personnel are NOT able to retrieve injured or orphaned wildlife. Wildlife are the property of the state of their origin and are also sometimes regulated by the federal government. People with concerns about ill or injured wildlife are urged to contact the local offices of that states' fish and wildlife service. WSU's veterinary teaching hospital will gladly assess wildlife brought to us and make a determination as to a course of care. As a final note, please be aware that some animals may carry diseases that can infect humans. The most notable is rabies, which can infect all mammals. The source of rabies in wildlife in Washington has been limited to the big brown bat but there is no reason tobelieve other bats could not be infected. In general, if a bat is healthy, no human should be able to touch it. If you can, and do touch a bat, you run the risk of being exposed to rabies which requires an extensive and expensive course of injections to prevent this essentially 100 percent fatal disease from developing. Again, bats like all wildlife fall under the control of their state's game agency and most provide important information about handling all wild animals, especially bats.