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This red-tailed hawk broke bones in her wing after being hit by a car in Rocklin in 2011. Now known as “Sierra”, she is unable to fly properly and instead serves as a wildlife ambassador for Gold Country Wildlife Rescue’s educational program. Photo: Donald Metzner

AUBURN, Calif. February 3, 2017 – Lovebirds looking for a place to celebrate Valentine’s Day are in for a “wild” night at Gold Country Wildlife Rescue’s Sweethearts Birds & Brew event. The event is taking place on Saturday, February 11, from 3 – 9 pm at Knee Deep Brewing Company in Auburn. Attendees will be able to meet-and-greet native wildlife, enjoy food and beverages from local businesses, and purchase a treat for their sweetie.

This will be the second “Birds & Brew” event held at Knee Deep’s taproom on New Airport Road. The first event took place in November, and was a huge success, raising $4,000 for the non-profit organization. “We’re honored to have Gold Country Wildlife Rescue return; they are an important part of our community,” said taproom manager Spenser Mena.

Gold Country Wildlife Rescue Board Member and raptor expert, Greg Grimm, will be attending the event as one of several animal handlers. “The birds we’ll be presenting we refer to as ‘wildlife ambassadors’,” explained Grimm. “These owls, hawks, falcons, and other birds are all nonreleasable. For example, our great-horned owl ambassador named Bella will be featured; she was kidnapped from a nest and raised by humans before being confiscated by Fish and Wildlife. She never learned to hunt and she can’t survive on her own in the wild.”

A fall from her nest as a chick caused vision loss in this raven. Now known as “Morgan,” she is a popular Gold Country Wildlife Rescue ambassador at schools and events across Placer County. Photo: Donald Metzner.

In addition to meeting the wildlife ambassadors, attendees will be able to purchase animal-inspired chocolates, spa packages, and merchandise; pizza will be available from the Bella Familia food truck. The fundraiser comes soon after big news for the 26-year old non-profit organization. In January, the Placer County Board of Supervisors authorized a lease agreement allowing Gold Country Wildlife Rescue to occupy the County’s former animal shelter in Auburn.

“We are thrilled about the relocation to Auburn, and the improvements in animal welfare the new facility will provide,” said Dr. Matthew Holdgate, Executive Director of Gold Country Wildlife Rescue. “The animals will benefit from many of the building’s features, such as the skylights, which will provide lots of natural light so the animals can experience normal day-night cycles. The thousands of injured and orphaned animals we receive every year will now have better care thanks to the support of Placer County,” he continued.

The organization is currently finalizing details with County officials and expects to move from their Loomis location in February. They will celebrate their new facility with an open house event in September – the same month they’ll be returning to Knee Deep for their third Birds & Brew event. Pre-sale tickets for Birds & Brew are on sale at www.goldcountrywildliferescue.org; tickets will also be available at the door.

About Gold Country Wildlife Rescue:

GCWR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured and orphaned wildlife. We are permitted by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. We have been serving the local community for 25 years, and do so at no charge. For more information, please visit www.goldcountrywildliferescue.org.