Sidney Campbell. Photo by Paul Neevel.

Sidney Campbell

“My uncle trained elephants at the San Diego Zoo,” says Sidney Campbell, who grew up in nearby Los Angeles County. “I spent time at the zoo and I wanted to do what my uncle did.” After high school, Campbell moved to San Diego and became friends with a young man who had grown up in Alaska. She was inspired to move north to pursue a degree in biology at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. “In my senior year, I did an internship at a small raptor center in Haines,” she notes, “and I met a young woman who volunteered at the Cascade Raptor Center in Eugene. I learned that there are hundreds of raptor centers.” After graduation, Campbell returned to San Diego to check out the local raptor center. “It wasn’t what I wanted,” she says, so she moved to Eugene in 2016 and began volunteering at the CRC. “This was exactly what I wanted, one of the finest raptor centers in the country!” After volunteering for a few months in Eugene, she was offered a job by the raptor center in Haines. “I was there for six years,” she says, “part of a team that worked at changing the culture there. We got involved with the animal training community and improved welfare standards for the birds.” In January 2022, the Cascade Raptor Center invited Campbell to apply for a position as senior trainer and educator. “They offered the job and here I am!” she says. “We have a team of 33 resident raptors. Their job is to connect people with wildlife. Behind the scenes is the wildlife hospital, where our rehabilitation team treats injured, ill and orphaned raptors. Our first function is treating those birds and returning them to the wild. Resident birds are not rehab patients, they are special individuals who can live confidently and comfortably on exhibit.” In the photograph, Campbell poses with her old friend Hans, a Eurasian eagle-owl, one of three birds who migrated from the Haines Raptor Center when it decided to downsize early this year. Hans has been part of free-flight programs for years, meeting thousands of guests up close.

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