By Carmel Hayes
A RENAMED wildlife sanctuary in Laois has sadly announced that it is closing.
Raven Haven Aviaries in Clonaslee, who have rescued countless native birds and birds of prey, made the announcement with a heavy heart yesterday.
The center has been run for many years by Shay and Elaine Connolly, both of whom are passionate about and have endless expertise on a wide variety of wild birds. However, they say the center cannot continue “due to rules and regulations”.
The center will be a major loss in the Midlands, where it regularly attends emergency calls for sick and injured birds and takes rescues from other animal welfare charities, which have no ornithological expertise.
In addition to managing wild bird rescue, Raven Haven breeds and exhibits native birds and birds of prey. Shay and Elaine also travel extensively to schools, clubs and events to show their birds for educational purposes, to talk about their habitats, food, nesting and how to identify different birds in local areas .
In a post on the Raven Haven Aviaries Facebook page yesterday, they said: ‘This is the hardest thing we’ve ever done. But we can no longer save wildlife due to rules and regulations. We would like to thank all of you who have supported us and donated funds to help with wildlife.
“We don’t do this lightly, but we will always be on the phone to give advice or help in any way we can. Thanks a lot guys and hopefully someone will set up a rescue center in the midlands.
Although unfortunately they can no longer save wildlife, Elaine and Shay said they will continue to showcase their own beloved birds of prey at public and private events.