The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program (RMRP) began in 1979 when an injured hawk was presented to the Colorado State University (CSU) Veterinary Teaching Hospital. That patient, and the many injured raptors that followed, helped us realize the tremendous need for a program that could rescue, rehabilitate and release these amazing birds for A Second Chance at Freedom. Through these efforts and our educational outreach, people are taught about the importance of conserving raptors, wildlife, and wild places.
The efforts of RMRP to rescue, rehabilitate, and release raptors and to provide environmental conservation education have been ongoing since the organization's beginnings. After more than 7,000 admissions, the RMRP now rescues approximately 300 sick, injured, and orphaned raptors each year. We release 75-85% of treatable cases, those that survive the critical first 96 hours. RMRP also presents 175 days of environmental conservation education programs to schools and youth organizations and various adult and family groups throughout the region annually.
At the end of 2006, the RMRP separated from CSU and moved from its location on the campus to make way for CSU's new Diagnostic Laboratory. With the help of friendly investors, RMRP purchased 27 acres in north Fort Collins, and rented a building on adjoining property for our rehabilitation clinic and administrative offices. We moved to the new facility in January 2007. We are planning to create a wildlife center that includes a 30,000 square foot building that will house our raptor clinic, administrative offices, plus a visitors center complete with interpretive displays, classrooms, and gift shop. The center will also include landscaped exhibits that portray the ecosystems of Colorado, and would house our permanently nonreleasable Education Ambassadors. This exhibit area will feature outdoor classrooms and areas where the general public can enjoy and learn about raptors and our important work to make a difference in our world.