The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre got its start
30 years ago with “Spirit” the owl caught in a barbed wire fence, says a volunteer coordinator at the centre.
“Spirit is the bird that started this whole thing,” said Rosemarie Davenport.
On Friday, the NIWRA will be celebrating its 30th birthday by providing a variety of fun-filled activities for kids.
The birthday party will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the centre in Errington and will feature live music from local bands, balloon animals, face painting, piper playing and other activities. The event is entirely free, with cake and beverages provided, Davenport said.
She said the centre wants people to know why the animals are at the NIWRC. She said it’s usually human-related causes that bring animals to the centre for rehabilitation, she said.
Davenport said NIWRC now has 20 birds and one fawn currently in rehabilitation, after starting with Spirit in 1985.
Davenport said there has been between 20 to 30 volunteers helping out and at least 15 people will be staffed for the event.
The NIWRC has been at its current home in Errington since 1987. Leading up to the birthday, there has been a special educational seminar each Saturday at the NIWRC. Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in July and August there will be a raptor (bird of prey) show. Davenport said three owls, one falcon and an eagle will be on display at the birthday as they are permanent residences of the NIWRC. One of the owls is 17. “He’ll be graduating this year,” Davenport said with a laugh.