A controversy is brewing over the use of a bald eagle in an Island beer promotion and the province wants the plug pulled on it.
It centres around a promotion Phillips Brewery has teamed with the Raptor Centre in Duncan on, but its ruffled a lot of feathers before the controversial prize has even been awarded.
With his tame nature and wild appeal, Hercules the bald eagle has become a star at The Raptors Centre in Duncan teaching the public about his kind. But his keepers have found themselves in a brewing controversy, after having the eagle star in a new beer promotion.
“This particular bird was very comfortable doing everything and that’s the only reason we had success doing it,” says Robyn Radcliffe of The Raptors Centre. “So we thought this could be a really neat opportunity for us to expand on that education.”
The project is a beer promotion for Victoria based Phillips Brewing
“On June 5th we’re going to try to deliver our newest beer by bird,” says Matt Phillips in the online video that pitches the contest.
One where contestants get to put their name in the barrel for a chance to have Hercules hand or claw deliver them beer.
“Inspiration here is often in a liquid form often so yes some of those ideas may not be all that logical but yeah,” says Matt Phillips of Phillips Brewing.
But since learning about the online video, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources has let the Raptor Centre know this kind of activity is not allowed under their falconry permit. And that if the promotional event does happen there will be consequences, including an investigation by the Conservation Officer Service.
“I think it’s just a miscommunication I think,” says Radcliffe.
But Hercules keepers say they still see value in this project and say they never expected to ruffle so many feathers.
“It may not seem like education up front but it’s increasing our reach. And our goal is to increase awareness and promote conservation,” says Radcliffe.
So the Raptors Centre plans to meet with the Ministry this week in hopes of calming the controversy and Phillips is still hopeful this bird will end up delivering his beer.
As people debate whether this is a stunt or spreading the word about these incredible birds.