Local Raptor Rehabilitation Conserving Local Birds of Prey in Partnership with RAPTOR Incorporated Photo by Jordan West The Zoo supports RAPTOR Incorporated’s efforts to conserve our local birds of prey and collaborates on projects that could affect the zoo’s animal collection. The zoo’s collection includes many native raptor species and local birds of prey share habitat with the zoo’s outdoor avian collection. Concerns of the Raptor Center are likely to be concerns of the zoo. RAPTOR Inc.’s conservation activities include rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured birds of prey, conducting field research at the Raptor Center and at local nesting sites, banding chicks and rehabilitated birds, installing nest boxes, and educating the public about the value of these birds to the environment. Photo by Jordan West The Cincinnati Zoo collaborates with RAPTOR Inc. on several projects, including screening wild raptors for contagious diseases and lead poisoning. Zoo funds have also provided the Raptor Center with routine laboratory testing equipment and a portable animal intensive care unit to treat the Center’s most vulnerable patients. Birds of prey are an incredibly important part of our environment and our culture. They keep natural systems in balance by keeping prey populations in check. They remove sick or weak animals from the environment. They prevent disease by scavenging on carrion, and serve as indicator species of the health of the entire ecosystem. They are some of the most beautiful and revered species on earth. They symbolically represent freedom, strength, and bravery. They appear on our money, uniforms, buildings, and flags. They inspire our imagination, have a central role in our legends and mythology, and are actually part of our national identity. They are also often persecuted, poisoned, or injured by people or our property, so there is a great need for public education and advocacy, along with rehabilitation and field conservation programs.