For the second year in a row, the SORCO raptor rehabilitation centre in Oliver has had to cancel its annual open house, the only time it is open to the public and a major fundraiser they rely on to fund their rescue work for birds of prey.
SORCO made the unfortunate announcement on Facebook Friday. Usually, the by-donation open house in May draws crowds to see the many resident and recovering eagles, hawks and owls at the shelter, netting about $30,000 in one day.
It's a source of funds the not-for-profit society greatly depends on, and having to cancel it for a second year in a row due to expected COVID-19 restrictions is a major blow.
"This is our largest fundraiser of the year with proceeds going directly to bird care," reads a post from manager Dale Belvedere on Facebook.
The open house for 2021 had been scheduled for May 2, 2021. At the event, they typically celebrate the birthday of their longest resident and unofficial mascot Houdini the great horned owl, who turns 21 this year.
"Please send him your birthday wishes on May 2 and I’ll be sure to read them to him! Looking forward to our 34th open house on May 1, 2022!" Belvedere wrote.
To learn more about SORCO and help fund their efforts to rescue and rehabilitate birds of prey throughout the South Okanagan, click here.