South Okanagan raptor rehabilitation centre cash strapped in record busy year

SORCO Manager Dale Belvedere holds the resident great-horned owl, Houdini at the open house. Global News

A south Okanagan raptor rehabilitation centre is having one of the busiest years in its nearly 30-year history.

“In SORCO history, this is the most chicks we have received,”¬†South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls (SORCO) manager Dale Belvedere said.

But the abnormally high volume of birds of prey it’s getting, is putting a huge strain on the centre’s finances.

“We are at 111 birds with two-and-a-half months to go in the year whereas last year we brought in a total of 99 birds for the year,” Belvedere said.

Belvedere doesn’t quite know what has caused the spike in birds being dropped off at the centre but the increase has left the non-profit cash strapped.

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SORCO relies on its annual open house in May to raise enough money to get through the year.

But the $15,000 raised at this year’s event isn’t going to be enough.

On top of that, SORCO lost a significant amount of money when someone broke into the facility two years ago and poisoned the centre’s food source.

Now SORCO is reaching out to the public in hopes of raising at least another $5,000.

On Nov. 20, SORCO is hosting a fundraising dinner in Okanagan Falls.

All proceeds will help the centre get through until its open house in May 2017.

Click here for more information about the upcoming fundraiser and other fundraising events the centre is planning.

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