Sunday, June 15, 2008

Goodbye Travis

Travis, our red tailed hawk, died in her sleep Thursday evening. Rather than add new posts this week I'll be adding remembrances from those who knew and loved Travis to this post. Regular posts will resume next Sunday.

Travis was illegally taken from her nest as a chick and raised on a horrible diet of hot dogs and bologna which led to rickets and permanently bowed her legs. She was confiscated by the Missouri Department of Conservation and given to the World Bird Sanctuary in 1987. For 21 years she held a special place in our hearts.

After arriving at WBS, Travis was nurtured and fed an appropriate diet, but the early damage to her body could not be undone. In spite of this, she became a fixture in our education programs around the country. In 2003, Travis retired to our lower site where she lived a peaceful life surrounded by those who loved her.

During her time with WBS, Travis not only educated the public, but also our staff, interns, and volunteers. Our donors and sponsors made caring for Travis (who needed a lifetime of care and medicine) possible, and many took a special interest in her case. It is impossible to say how much this hawk meant to all of us, but here are some words in honor of Travis:

In memory of Travis, our magnificent hawk

Angela K: I'll never forget how happy Travis always was at feeding time. The eager sounds she made at the sight of a meal, and the way she'd jump right up to the perch for it, will always be something I will happily remember.

Jennifer B: She was a sweet bird who trained many staff and volunteers, and educated thousands of people in her life. We will miss her.

Stephanie P: Travis was a marvelous hawk. She taught me more than I can say. I'll miss watching her watch the squirrels around her mew.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear about Travis. I know that at WBS you have her the best life possible after such a tragic beginning. I know it is always hard to lose something that meant so much to you, but I know in my heart she went to a much better place.

Laura Edmunds said...

Many tears won't do it. Travis was one of the first birds I ever handled and her demeanor was encouraging to the novice and an inspiration to the determined. She never protested the inexperienced hands in the Raptory Theater training and took it in stride. She will be missed from afar, and will never be forgotten as a winged mentor.
Soar high, Travis...

Dave said...

Our thoughts are with WBS during this sad time.