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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Birds of prey: the many rescues of the Mid-South Raptor Center

Knox Martin is the founder and director of the Mid-South Raptor Center. He tells Local Memphis that he’s been rescuing and rehabilitating for over thirty ...

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Knox Martin is the founder and director of the Mid-South Raptor Center. He tells Local Memphis that he’s been rescuing and rehabilitating for over thirty years now. In 1986, he began helping the Memphis Zoo with their rehab facility and later opened his own facility in 2002. Martin has been at the Mid-South Raptor Center ever since.

He tells Local 24 News that an estimated 200 birds are rescued annually from all over the country, but primarily in West Tennessee.

“Well, we get the majority of them from right here in Shelby County,” Martin explained.

A lot of the birds come from rescue missions, some even come from people just dropping them off at the Raptor Center, he adds. From hawks to owls to eagles, the Raptor Center takes in all kinds of birds in the area in hope of one day being able to release them back into the wild.

Martin says that the Raptor Center has a 60% release rate and that eagles are the easiest bird to place. These birds are released into national parks, Shelby Farms, etc. Some of the rescues are kept in captivity at the center due to blindness or other injuries, impairments so intense, that they wouldn’t make it in the wild.

According to Martin, he enjoys rescuing birds because a lot of the injuries are caused by humans, and rescuing and rehabilitating them is his way of paying it forward and giving them a second chance at life.

Martin says that the Raptor Center is 100% dependent on donations and volunteers to keep the center open and running.

Click here to make a contribution to support the work that the Mid-South Raptor Center does to capture, rescue, and release these birds.