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Charlotte Area News

Snow Collapses Waterfowl Aviary In Indian Trail

As snow began to fall late Saturday, the volunteers who run Carolina Waterfowl Rescue figured the birds would be fine. There's a barn to shelter the birds during bad weather, and the open-air part of the aviary - which is in Indian Trail - is covered with netting to keep predators out. "The aviary netting has holes in it and we assumed the snow would fall through the holes and that is not the case," says Sandi Bush, one of the volunteers who cares for about 150 geese, swans, ducks, roosters and other fowl at the rescue's aviary. Bush arrived Sunday morning to find the net roof collapsed under the weight of several inches of wet snow. Many of the birds were trapped and suffered frostbite. A few were injured more seriously, including a popular rooster named "Marmalade." "He's a very tame, friendly rooster that even very young kids can hold, and he just kind of loves the attention," says Bush. "Marmalade was the one that was most badly hurt. He didn't crow this morning and that's a very bad sign." Volunteers were able to restring the netting and rig a temporary fix to the aviary. Bush says the group needs to quickly raise about a thousand dollars for supplies to permanently repair - and reinforce - the aviary structure. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is a nonprofit run entirely by volunteers who take in chickens, geese, ducks and other birds that have been injured by predators and hunters or abandoned by people who no longer want them as pets.