BY MELANIE BUCK –
Wildlife Rehabilitator Tommy Young will host his next bald eagle release in Fort Smith at Riverfront Park on Saturday, March 18th at noon.
Young has been rehabilitating the adult bald eagle since December when it was brought in after being found with a head injury near Hot Springs. The bald eagle was found by an officer with the Arkansas State Police on Veteran’s Day. Young explained that in addition to the head injury, it also had a fractured wing and ligament sling. A calcium deposit from an old injury had built up on the wing, causing it to be unable to fly. Young was able to scrape the calcium deposit off and rehabilitate the raptor. After months of rehabilitation, the bald eagle is ready to soar again. All are welcome to attend the release.
Members of three Native American tribes, known as The Otters, will dance at noon, with the release following. The event will be held beside the ferris wheel at the park. There will also be several other birds of prey on hand, as well as members of Arkansas Game and Fish and Arkansas State Police.
Young’s other bald eagle he is currently caring for, is a juvenile victim of lead poisoning. After her molt this Fall, she will be released as well.
As Spring approaches, Young is gearing up for his busiest season and donations are always accepted and appreciated. Monetary donations can be made by mailing to: P.O. Box 1881, Mena, AR 71953. Or, direct bank drafts can be sent to Arkansas Native Plant and Wildlife Center accounts at either Union Bank of Mena or Bear State Bank. Non-monetary donations are also needed. Many of the supplies needed can be purchased at the Farmer’s Co-op in Mena and left for Young to pick up. For more information, contact Young at 479-437-3750.
As a 501(c)3 organization, all donations are tax deductible.