Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Admission: $11 Adults, $6 Child
Beth Brown, Raptor Rehabilitator
Wildlife rehabilitators are like the zoo keepers of the wild animal world.
They take care of sick, injured and orphaned animals so that they can be returned to their natural habitat. The goal of rehabilitation is not to turn animals into pets, but rather to keep them in captivity until they are able to live independently in the wild. If an animal is unable to fully recover from its injuries or survive in the wild following treatment, sometimes they are sent to zoos and other educational facilities.
Beth Brown, a wildlife rehabilitator from Osceola, Iowa, gave a presentation March 14 at Blank Park Zoo on her work as a raptor rehabilitator. After her kids left home, Beth began her hobby in the 1980s as a bird watcher. It was through doing this that she met with famous bird rehabilitator Gladys Black. Gladys suggested that Beth take up raptor rehabilitating. Thus began Beth’s 27-year long career as a raptor rehabilitator for Warren County.
Beth is licensed by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service and can work with endangered birds. She is required to have multiple cages on her property and they must be at least 40 feet wide to hold the various species of raptors she rehabilitates. Beth has worked hard to make conservation officers more accepting of private raptor rehabilitators, discounting notions that rehabilitators are trying to make the birds pets.
Beth Brown says her hobby as a raptor rehabilitator makes little money and she is “always covered in dirt” – however, her love for the raptors has been the greatest joy of her life. Beth states that her adventures as a rehabilitator have been “such a ride” and she has enjoyed every minute of it. She
says she owes her success to her mentor and friend Gladys Black and her husband for his patience with her hobby.
Beth Brown’s full presentation is available on the Zoo's YouTube page.