MENU

Local veterans get a visit from raptors of Wild for Life

NSL VA WILD FOR LIFE_0002.Copy.01_frame_436.jpg
Some local veterans are getting a very special treat: a visit from some wild animals who struggle with disabilities of their own. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Some local veterans are getting a very special treat: a visit from some wild animals who struggle with disabilities of their own.

A "recreational therapy" program brings interactive activities to veterans, to improve their quality of life.

A broad-wing hawk with a brain injury after being hit by a car, now unable to hunt, lives at Wild for Life.

People with the non-profit wildlife rehab center are visiting the Charles George VA Medical Center to educate the residents about what what's being done to help the animals.

Many of the residents here understand traumatic brain injuries all too well.

"My father served in the Second World War, and he died when I was young, as a teenager, so I never got to understand what he went through during his time in the pacific in the war because that generation wasn't speaking as much as they do now," said Jim Stilwell, a Wild for Life volunteer.

"It was real good. I'm sure a lot of people have never seen a hawk or an owl that close up," sid VA resident James Renegar. "Birds of prey are predators, and if you're going to come up with a good name that really intimidates somebody you could use a bird of prey for that."

A number of military aircraft that are named afters birds, like the blackhawk, the falcon and the osprey.

Wild for Life receives more than 200 injured and orphaned animals every year. More than 60 percent of them are returned to the wild.

For more information on wild for life, click here.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER