Blue Mountain Wildlife Rehab Center: saving bird species one bir - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Blue Mountain Wildlife Rehab Center: saving bird species one bird at a time

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PENDLETON, OR - Bald eagles, a few species of hawks, owls, and other large birds only have one place to go if they are shot or otherwise injured.

In the past year, the Blue Mountain Wildlife Rehab Center in Pendleton has recorded 30 birds illegally shot. Lynn Tompkins has dedicated not only her life, but her home to protecting and caring for these birds.

Her journey began 30 years ago as a vet tech in Pendleton. Now, her and her husband have turned their home into their very home wildlife rehab center.

"The day we installed our machine, we admitted a golden eagle at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon," said Tompkins, manager of Blue Mountain Wildlife Rehab Center. "Within an hour and a half of that bird coming into the clinic, we had anesthetized it, examined it, drawn blood, tested it for lead and given it IV fluids. We've done all of that in less than an hour and a half."

That entire process happened right inside of Tompkins's home, which also acts as Blue Mountain Wildlife Rehab Center. The machine she's talking about is a brand new x-ray machine. Tompkins along with her husband and one other employee make up the only wildlife rehab center in eastern Oregon and Washington.

"We're the only ones, unfortunately, in this huge area," said Tompkins. "It's a ten-county area in Washington and nine counties in eastern Oregon. It's a huge geographic area that we serve. Most of the birds we get travel more than 75 miles to get here."

Having such a small shop, it's important for Tompkins to let others know that shooting these state and federally protected birds is illegal.

"It's hard to know why but its illegal."

Tompkins also wants you to know that it's not only effecting the wildlife.

"When something bad happens in our environment, whether it's animals getting injured or the environment getting affected, it affects us," said Tompkins. "We're not separate from the world we live in, we're part of it. So when we do things that harm our world, we harm ourselves. It's to our benefit to try and live in harmony."

You can donate to the rehab center by following this link: http://bluemountainwildlife.org/donate.html.

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