FERNDALE, Wash. – The founder of a raptor center near Ferndale says federal agents are threatening to remove 18 eagles because of a dispute over paperwork and cage size.
The Sardis Raptor Center provides emergency trauma care for raptors, rehabilitates threatened or endangered raptors, and educates Washington residents about local birds of prey using birds that can’t be released back into the wild.
Founder Sharon Wolters says that U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have declined to renew her permit to use the eagles in educational programs.
Fourteen of the eagles are kept in a 2,700-square-foot enclosure, and agents want the birds given at least 7,600 square feet.
Wolters says she’s facing a Thursday deadline for the birds’ removal.
She says the educational program helps pay for the center’s rehabilitation of raptors.
The center’s other two permits, one to rehabilitate sick, injured or orphaned birds in the wild, and the other to use migratory birds for education, remain in good standing.