By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
Winter weather has taken its toll on part of Skye's Spirit Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, where heavy snow and ice led to the collapse of its eagle flight enclosure.
"We had already moved out the birds that were in there, so no one was hurt; however we're not prepared for the great cost it will take to make repairs," director Maryjane Angelo posted on the center's Facebook page.
She knew Monday night the structure at the Harrisville area center had collapsed, but didn't know until the light of day Tuesday how badly it was damaged.
"Morning has brought tears flowing. Our beautiful large flight has a completely collapsed roof due to heavy ice and snow. We are devastated but will find a way to rebuild quickly," said Angelo, who runs the center with her husband Bob and a few volunteers, working around the clock to care for and release wildlife indigenous to Pennsylvania.
The center's Facebook followers immediately started offering prayers, labor, supplies, support, encouragement and monetary donations, and expressing relief that no one or any animals were hurt.
"Thanks so much for all the kind words of hope!...Right now we're asking for monetary donations to be prepared for having to replace and repair this enclosure to get it back up as soon as possible," she said.
The center has a 50-foot enclosure that is OK, but the one that collapsed is 30 by 100 feet and much needed to give large birds space to exercise before they are released.
"You can see how beautiful the enclosure was before this tragedy on some of the eagle exercising videos on our Facebook page," Angelo said in an email to Allied News.
Once the ice and snow melt, it will be easier to assess the damage and she'll take to Facebook again to ask for help, whether it's in the form of physical labor or donations of building materials.
"I wish spring would have shown up and warmed up so we don't have to wait," she said in the email.
The center, which opened in 1998, hit a rough patch in July, when Angelo thought she'd have to stop taking in hurt, sick and orphaned animals because of fewer donations. A last-minute plea to Skye's regular supporters led to enough extra funds to keep things running.
Donations can be sent to: Skye's Spirit Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, 889 Farren Surrena Road, Harrisville, PA 16038, or made through the center's website at www.skyes-spirit.com
For more information, check out Skye's Facebook page or call 814-786-9677.
Published March 23, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.