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Bartlesville Center Credited With Saving The Bald Eagle, Faces Extinction

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BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma -

A Bartlesville conservation organization responsible for saving the southern bald eagle from extinction is now facing extinction itself.  

The George Miksch Sutton Avian Research Center found out this week that because of state budget cuts, close to a million dollars in funding from the University of Oklahoma is stopping on June 30.  That's at least 80 percent of the Sutton Center's budget.

That means most staff positions would go, along with Sutton's popular traveling wild bird show that has brought eagles, owls and hawks to hundreds of local schools.

It's still unclear whether the Sutton Center would be forced to return its equipment, vehicles and give up its access to OU's scientific data base, or even survive.

"It's not like it was kind of paired down, let's slow it down and phase out, it was like someone just slams on the brakes real quick and you're just kind of whipped lashed forward. And that's how it feels," said Kris Koepsel, Sutton Center Board Chairman.

Sutton's affiliation with OU has lasted 18 years.

1/28/2016 Related Story: Sutton Avian Center Set To Offer Wildlife Conservation Education

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