ST. GEORGE — Raptors were back at Findlay Subaru on Friday, and it was time to hand out some money.
Martin Tyner, nicknamed the Healer of Angels, brought three of his feathered friends with him to accept a check for the Southwest Wildlife Foundation.
Tyner, a master falconer, runs the wildlife rescue organization out of Enoch. He and his wife have been conducting educational outreach programs and rescuing raptors for 43 years.
For the last eight of those years, Findlay Subaru has partnered with Tyner to donate yearly checks to the non-profit organization.
As part of its annual “Share the Love” campaign, customers who purchase a vehicle at Findlay can choose to donate $250 of the purchase price to a local or national charity.
This year’s check to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation was for $12,231, the highest total yet.
Findlay general manager Dave Gourley told St. George News that he has become a bird lover over the years through the partnership with the foundation.
“Working with Martin the past eight years has just been amazing,” Gourley said. “He never even takes a salary out of this, so all the money goes to the birds. That’s dedication that needs to be supported, not just by us but by all the community.”
Through the course of his rescue duties, Tyner said he puts 40,000 miles per year on his Subaru Outback, and Findlay helps with the maintenance of the vehicle. He’s on his third Outback, which he said is the perfect vehicle to carry the kennels that hold his birds.
Tyner brought three of his rescued raptors to help him collect the check. The first was a peregrine falcon named Helen. Falcons are the fastest animal that has ever lived, capable of achieving more than 200 miles an hour in a vertical dive.
Helen was bred in captivity and is nearly blind, able to see only about six feet. She was named after another ambassador for the blind, Helen Keller.
Next, Tyner brought out Belle, a Harris hawk that was born in captivity in Louisiana. The birds are common in the Southwest and are known for their dark brown, red and white coloring.
And finally, Tyner brought out the fan-favorite: a golden eagle named Scout.
Scout has over 7,000 feathers. Tyner told the audience that many cultures worldwide believe that if you pray on an eagle feather, it will carry your prayer to heaven.
Eagles can see eight times farther and six times clearer than humans. An eagle on the hunt can spot a jackrabbit from five miles away.
Tyner told St. George News that every year he is overwhelmed by the generosity of Findlay Subaru.
“They’ve been extremely kind and extremely generous. They’re just such an amazing part of the St. George community,” Tyner said. “I feel so grateful that they’ve taken us under their wing, so to speak.”
Tyner was excited to report that Southwest Wildlife Foundation will be building a state-of-the-art facility in Enoch.
“I’m hoping that we have a groundbreaking ceremony in June,” Tyner said. “By this time next year, we should have a really, really amazing raptor rescue facility.”
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