ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Western New York Raptor and Wildlife Care is continuing fundraising efforts for a much needed expansion.
Director Bernadette Clabeaux began the organization in 2019. “I always had a love for animals growing up, we always had something,” said Clabeaux.
The non-profit’s mission is to help injured animals and get them back out into the wild. “We take care of small mammals, a few song birds, different types of owls and hawks,” she said.
But some unable to leave, will be living their lives on the grounds. Xander, a ten-year-old red tailed hawk is one of them. “He cant fly completely. So his alternative would be euthanasia,” said Clabeaux. “So we were asked if we wanted to use him in education and we said yes.”
With more wildlife than ever coming through its’ doors, the organization needs your help to expand its’ rehab center. “Last year with Covid-19, we had an exponential increase because people were at the parks and going out,” she said. “So we had about 200 animals that we helped throughout the Summer and now we’re on track to do that and more.”
This expansion will allow them to double their rehabilitation space. But with the cost of materials like lumber on the rise, the organization has put together a fundraiser with a goal of $20,000.
Any donation made makes a difference. “It’s amazing when the animal survives and to release it back into the wild,” said Clabeaux. “To feel that happiness that you get from saving that animal is incredible.”
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.