Snowy the owl's caretakers devote lives to saving birds - News, Weather & Sports

Snowy the owl's caretakers devote lives to saving birds

Snowy the owl Snowy the owl
Eileen and John Wicker Eileen and John Wicker

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Eileen and John Wicker made their vows 35 years ago. But for the past 25 they've been devoted to saving birds.

"It is our life, 24/7, 365," Eileen said.

We first visited Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky on New Year's Eve to meet a snowy owl; a rarity this far south. Sadly, she died five days later from an aneurysm.

"I still have special cases that I cry about," Eileen told WAVE 3 News. Cases that are really hard to understand."

The tears are usually over cases of abuse. One of their latest arrivals was shot in the wing and will need surgery.

"People think, I guess, ‘You don't like hunters, right?" John said. "No. I used to hunt myself. I don't have anything against hunters," he explained. "But I do have something against stupid people with guns."

The center depends on volunteers and donations. The costs add up quickly, with some medication costing $250 a bottle.

The couple is now trying to carve out some time for themselves, though their passion may never let them take full flight.

"They are majestic. They're awesome," Eileen exclaimed. "I probably don't have enough words to describe what these birds mean to me."

Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky offers tours by appointment. If you would like more information about the center, or how to help, click here.

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