BY MELANIE BUCK –
Two more rehabilitated animals were released recently to add to the count of Tommy Young, rehabilitator and falconer of Arkansas Native Plant and Wildlife Center. Young is nearing his 80,000th release since beginning his professional trek more than 30 years ago.
For the next few weeks, Young will hold releases on Fridays at the Visitor’s Center at the base of Rich Mountain at 4:30. Onlookers can come and see the birds of prey, mammals, and more be released back into the wild after being rehabilitated by Young for several months. In some cases, the animals may have been abandoned by their parents and needed some TLC, while others may have needed a wing repaired after being hit by a motor vehicle. No matter the injury, Young does his best to insure they are prepared to enter their natural habitat with the skills needed to survive.
The latest releases were a Barn Owl sponsored by Sharon and Mike Rostollan and their daughter Vonetha of Knotted Knickers Vineyards & Farms and a Hawk, released by Young’s granddaughter, Taylor, who is certainly following in her papa’s footsteps.
Young invites the public to attend the releases for the remainder of the year, each Friday at the Visitor’s Center at 4:30. He encourages you to bring the whole family. For more on how you can help the Center, sponsor an animal, or more information in general call 479-437-3750.