Yukon, a West Sound Wildlife Shelter avian educational ambassador, died suddenly and unexpectedly just days before Christmas.
The bird ultimately succumbed to a very aggressive and fast-spreading form of cancer, which set in too quickly to treat.
Yukon was a Harlan’s Hawk, a specific subspecies of Red-tailed Hawk, who first came to the shelter more than five years ago after having been hit by a car near Port Orchard.
Despite a successful surgery which saved his life, the incident left Yukon permanently unable to fly. He therefore stayed at the shelter and became one of the most recognizable of the organization’s educational ambassadors.
The West Sound Wildlife Shelter provides Kitsap County’s only live-bird education program. The purpose of this program is to help protect wild animals by giving the public a way to connect more directly with wildlife and educate the public about how to coexist with wildlife.
Yukon was a beloved and recognizable figure who interacted with thousands of people through the program, said West Sound Wildlife Executive Director Lisa Horn.