Girls help save golden eagle

Conservation & Preservation

Wed Dec. 03 2008

A couple of eight-year-old girls from Banff are doing what they can to save an injured golden eagle.

Sierra Tanner and Madison Strombecky travelled to Calgary on Wednesday to raise money for the bird named Spirit. "He's a very gentle bird and he's beautiful and we want him to stay alive for a long time," says Strombecky.

They told the story of Spirit to the business community during a lunch-hour fundraiser at the Petroleum Club.

Spirit was found, over a year-and-a-half ago, after it had been shot with a pellet gun. "I felt kind of sad for him because I thought Spirit was a beautiful bird and I thought it was sad he got shot in the eye and in the chest two times," says Tanner. The bird is now 90 percent blind.

The golden eagle was brought to the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation just outside of Lethbridge. "Since he can't survive in the wild we either have to provide a long-term home for him ourselves and that's why we're trying to raise funds to do this or, sadly, he might have to be euthanized or put to sleep," says Colin Weir a spokesperson for the foundation.

As soon as the girls learned about Spirit they held a fundraiser at their school in Banff. They created chore sheets to help raise money. "The kids can have the chore sheets and then they do the chores at home and their parents give them their money and they bring it back to school," says Tanner.

The idea of asking Calgary's business community for funds came from the girls but was achieved with the help of Tanner's dad. "To see someone at this age take charge of something and not be shy, it's just a great model that at any age you can put your mind to something and do it, accomplish something unique," says Neil Tanner.

Tanner and Strombecky ended up raising $1,500 at the meeting.

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