Danville, VA-- Folks in our area got an up close and personal lesson with wildlife on Saturday.
It was all part of a wildlife rehab educational outreach put on by a non-profit organization based in North Carolina, called CLAWS.
The organization brought several wild birds, including hawks, owls, falcons and ravens. The Executive Director says it's a huge part of their mission to not only help injured wildlife, but to teach people about the animals we share our planet with.
Since 2004, Kindra Mammone and her husband Vinny, have dedicated their lives to helping wildlife.
"We take in sick, orphaned, and injured animals , nurse them back to health and put them back in the wild," Executive Director of CLAWS, Kindra Mammone, said. "We also rescue animals that there aren't other facilities for, such as nonflighted hawks and raccoons and foxes and things that can't be put in the wild."
CLAWS stands for Creative Learning About Wildlife Species. The Mammones travel around North Carolina and parts of Virginia, teaching crowds about wildlife, hoping to dispel some myths along the way.
"I truly believe that most people learned everything that they know about wildlife from Bugs Bunny, and you know Bugs Bunny, while it was an entertaining show, Coyotes do run faster than road runners," Mammone said. "Television hasn't done us a world of good when it comes to animals."
"There's a lot of myths concerning wildlife, for example, if birds fall out of the nest, and you touch them, supposedly you can't put them back in their nest, that's completely false," Executive Director of Southside Virginia Wildlife Center, Tanya Lovern said.
"It's kind of our mission to teach people, and some people just want to learn more," Mammone said.
"It just really gives you a good feel of what's out there, why it's there and how awesome and beautiful it is," Lovern said.
If you'd like to learn more about CLAWS, attend one of their outreaches, or be there when they release animals back into the wild, here are links to their website and facebook page.