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The Alaska Raptor Center is the prime refuge and educational facility for bald eagles. It is also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Alaska. It was founded in 1980 and started out in the backyard of two Sitka locals who cared for a wounded bald eagle. The endeavor became popular to their neighbors and other residents of Sitka until more volunteers opened their homes to injured eagles. In 1983, they converted a small shack on the Sheldon Jackson College to serve as the home for the eagles. It was only in 1991 when they officially transferred into their present home which is a 17-acre lot along the border of the Indian River and the Tongass National Forest.

Every year, the Alaska Raptor Center treats up to 200 wounded bald eagles and other birds. These birds are then released to the wild while those who are very badly injured are kept as “Raptors-in-Residence”. Today, there are 19 of them at the center and they provide education and excitement to tourists each year.
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