Buffalo Behind the Scenes: Hawk Creek Wildlife Center


Buffalo Behind the Scenes: Hawk Creek Wildlife Center

WEST FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Hawk Creek Wildlife Center has been caring for a variety of birds and wildcats for decades, starting on the director’s private property in 1986. In 2017, its new facility opened in West Falls, to help even more animals in need.

“As Hawk Creek’s mission over the last 30 years has grown and evolved and expanded, we also needed to grow and expand our facility,” explained Tanya Lowe, the director of wildlife education. “We’re hoping to finish a lot of the odds and ends and the last couple enclosures in the next two years.”

Everything at the new facility is meant to create an even better experience for both the human visitors who come to get close up looks at amazing animals and for the animals who call Hawk Creek home.

Between the site in East Aurora and the new one in West Falls, the Hawk Creek volunteers and staff are currently caring for around 80 creatures.

MORE | Click here to learn more about some of the animals at Hawk Creek.

It takes a lot of work and resources to keep them all happy, especially in the winter weather. “We’re out here checking everybody. When it’s that cold, we have to hand feed everybody, and a lot of it is the cost of food, and a lot of extra bedding making sure everyone is nice and warm in their dens,” Lowe said, adding that many of the birds get heated perches.

Not every animal at Hawk Creek is built to live in Western New York winter weather, and they require extra care. So do some of the elderly residents, who tend to feel the cold a little more.

The African Servals who live at Hawk Creek are examples of both. They’re all around 20 years old, and after being rescued from the exotic pet trade several years ago, they’re living out their retirement years at the facility.

Many of the other animals at Hawk Creek are temporary residents, who have come in with injuries to be rehabbed and re-released into the wild when they’re ready.

Animals who can’t be released live at Hawk Creek for life and become animal ambassadors as part of the ongoing education and conservation programs, including breeding programs for several species.

“So many species across the globe have been saved from extinction because of organizations like hawk creek and different zoos, because we have a genetic bank, we have a back up Plan B,” Lowe said. “That’s why these animals are so important. Not only are they educating people and getting them connected to the natural world, they’re also a Plan B to stop species from going extinct.”

Among the success stories from Hawk Creek is Soren the Barn Owl. He’s an animal ambassador who was born at Hawk Creek as part of its award-winning barn owl breeding program, which has helped repopulate that species in Western New York.

That’s a huge success for pest control in our area, since each barn owl can eat 2,000 mice each year!

“These animals all not only have an intrinsic value in and of themselves, they also have a significant value to humans and to the health of all of us,” Lowe told News 4.

If you’d like to see the animals at Hawk Creek for yourself, or you’d like to get involved as a volunteer or intern, you can learn more on the Hawk Creek website.

News 4’s Katie Alexander got a chance to check out the new West Falls facility as part of our Buffalo Behind the Scenes series on Monday morning. Watch the videos below to see our full Wake Up coverage.

APP USERS | Click here to enable videos

Source: Buffalo New York’s Latest News
Buffalo Behind the Scenes: Hawk Creek Wildlife Center

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