Friends of Texas Wildlife Needs Your Help to Soar With the Eagles
THE WOODLANDS, TX – For the past 25 years, Friends of Texas Wildlife has been the nonprofit organization of choice for members of the community to bring in wounded and disenfranchised wild animals. Over that quarter-century, the staff and volunteers at FoTW have handled practically every form of local wildlife imaginable, but this week they find themselves in a particularly wild situation: over the past month, they’ve found themselves to be the caretakers of wounded bald eagles.
“We had three eagles in our care,” said Lisa Wolling, FoTW’s executive director. “Eagle 1 has been with us since January 6; we discovered him unable to fly due to a healing fracture on his right shoulder. Eagle 2 was miraculously found in the middle of nowhere by some Toledo Bend Reservoir fishermen; he was suffering from a severe and infected wound on his left wing. Eagle 3 was a juvenile who was grounded for a week before he was captured; unfortunately, well-meaning people fed him a diet of deer meat that his dehydrated and emaciated system couldn’t process, and we’re sad to report that he passed away.”
In the real world, it doesn’t sound like caring for two surviving bald eagles would be difficult or expensive, but Wolling assures us that nothing could be farther from the truth. Each bird feeds on a couple of pounds of fish per day, supplemented with feeder rodents, liquids, and medications. Additional financial burden is placed on the organization due to the vet bills and facility upkeep.
“We’re putting out a call for help to local fisherpeople who want to donate fish – gutted if possible and heads are definitely okay,” she said. “Perch, bass, crappie are best but they will sometimes eat catfish. We stay away from game meat because we can’t always verify and trust the source.”
Wolling states that the nature and extent of the birds’ injuries mean there won’t be a quick turnaround and re-release into the wild. They will require a full rehabilitation regimen that makes the length of their stay on the property unsure.
“We are always seeking from the community their awareness, support, and financial donations,” she said. “Though we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is fully licensed with entities like the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, we aren’t funded by them. Practical grants are few and far between, and we are forced to operate completely funded by donations and fundraising activities.”
Friends of Texas Wildlife takes in any native Texas wildlife that needs assistance – from squirrels to possums, from small birds to bald eagles. They offer a student-friendly educational facility tour on the second Saturday of each month, and also have on the calendar a series of camps and workshops, as well as a special Open House of the entire facility on April 9.
If you have any fish you can donate, have questions, or wish to learn how you can help in their efforts, please email the staff at Friends of Texas Wildlife at email@example.com.