A juvenile eagle sitting on a branch. (Port Alice Photography, Images by Douglas Bradshaw)

A juvenile eagle sitting on a branch. (Port Alice Photography, Images by Douglas Bradshaw)

MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre requesting fish donations to help feed eagles

Number of hungry juvenile eagles cared for in captivity increased with heat wave

The Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) Wildlife Rescue Centre in Merville is seeking help from the public to get more fish to feed the hungry juvenile bald eagles it has in captivity.

Eagles enter the centre’s care for a variety of reasons, but the most common is when juveniles have fallen out of a nest and cannot be placed back — a frequent ooccerence as of late, explained Gyl Andersen, the centre’s manager of wildlife rehabilitation.

“We had quite a few coming in during the heatwave, because they were jumping from the nest early to escape the heat,” she said.

Each captive eagle must be fed around 175 grams of fish three or four times a day for several months before release. With 11 eagles now in captivity at the centre, food supply there is becoming strained.

To help meet this demand, community donations are being requested. Salmon is preferred, but other fish species eagles encounter in the wild are also sought.

Younger eagles are fed fish meat, but they are offered other parts — such as heads or guts — as they mature, to make sure they are prepared for the wild.

“We want them to be able to rip things up and know how to handle a carcass to get out of here,” said Andersen.

Chicken is also sometimes used to feed eagles, because it is easy for them to digest.

Donations can be dropped off at the centre, located at 1331 Williams Beach Rd. in Merville. Alternatively, those wanting to donate may arrange a volunteer pickup by calling (250)-337-2021.

READ ALSO: Salmon and other sea life affected by recent heat waves, experts say


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