Home to birds of prey near Duncan vandalized

Staff of a wildlife attraction north of Duncan that houses birds of prey say the centre was ­vandalized over the weekend, stressing the animals and ­causing thousands of dollars in damage.

On Sunday morning, staff arrived to find doors had been “bashed” open, holes ripped in the mesh of the aviaries, and fences ripped up at The Raptors Visitor Centre, said lead administrator Isaac King.

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Some aviary doors were left open, but all birds have been accounted for, King said. All the birds that could have gotten out overnight are part of the centre’s flying team and regularly fly freely, he said.

“We care a lot about these birds and that somebody would come into their home and just wreck the joint for what didn’t seem to be any apparent reason was very upsetting for the team,” King said.

King said the main concern is about stress to the birds, but all seem to be in good health and behaving normally.

Staff are cataloguing all the damage, and the centre is looking at upwards of $4,000 in damage, he said. Nothing appears to have been stolen.

King said the vandalism is “disheartening” after a difficult year for the tourist attraction during the pandemic.

The centre would like to hear from anyone who knows about what happened. They have reported the incident to police.

Cpl. Cari Lougheed, media relations officer for North Cowichan-Duncan RCMP, said it appears to have been a random incident.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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