Charles Martin, 844-3698


AUBURN -- A Wetumpka couple has been honored by the Southeastern Raptor Rehabilitation Center at Auburn University as the Raptor Conservationists of the Year

Jim and Elmore Inscoe received the award at a recent ceremony at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

"Their dedication to wildlife conservation is the example everyone should follow," said Joe Shelnutt, director of the raptor center. "We appreciate their commitment to the raptor center and Auburn University."

The Inscoes helped fund new flight cages at the new Elmore Bellingrath Raptor Center Hospital, which is named for Elmore Inscoe's mother. The hospital is expected to treat a growing number of birds in the coming years, Shelnutt said.

The center saw a 45 percent increase in the number of birds treated in 1998. The faculty, staff and volunteers cared for 410 birds of prey, marking another record- breaking year for the 27-year-old center. Two hundred sixty-four birds were seen in 1997 while 133 were treated in 1996, both record caseloads at the time.

Twenty-one species received care. Red tail hawks were the most common with 102 being treated, followed by 56 barred owls, 56 screech owls, and 40 great horned owls. Among the other raptors treated were six bald eagles.

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