British Columbia

Beer delivery by eagle set to soar, bird keeper says

The Ministry of Forests stepped in and said 'no' to the stunt at first, but the Raptors Centre in Duncan says it looks it might still get the go-ahead.

Raptors Centre in Duncan says after initial 'no,' the event has gained at least conditional approval

Raptors Centre general manager Robyn Radcliffe appears with Hercules the eagle in a still from a promotional video from Phillips Brewing. (Phillips Beer/YouTube)

A 'featherbrained' Vancouver Island beer promotion strategy is going ahead after an initial 'no' from the Ministry of Forests.

Phillips Brewery announced a competition that would see the winner get a beer delivered to them — via bald eagle.

The Raptors Centre in Duncan, the home of the beer-delivering eagle, spoke to the Ministry, and it looks like contest is back on.

"From their perspective, they're just trying to make sure we're adhering to our permit conditions and making sure we're doing our job to make sure the public and the birds are safe, which is fine," Robyn Radcliffe, the Raptor Centre's general manager told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

"It looks like we've come up with some solutions, we just need to finalize discussions to make sure it works from their point of view."

Radcliffe says the contest, part of a larger partnership between the Raptors Centre and Phillips, calls for an eagle named Hercules to fly to the winner, and drop down a beer in Downtown Vancouver.

Radcliffe says that location was probably not ideal.

"It has to be a pretty controlled situation to make sure everyone is comfortable," Radcliffe said, suggesting the stunt may happen at the sanctuary for the safety of Hercules and any humans present.

"[Hercules] is flying free, so he's doing these things if he chooses to, and if he does not, he can go and fly off into a tree or fly away."

Radcliffe says she's glad to see there has been a response from the public over this promotion, because she feels it proves people are invested in animal welfare.

"I think it's people who genuinely care about wildlife and genuinely care about the birds' welfare," she said.

Radcliffe also notes Hercules, who has an "incredible" temperament, has appeared in other films and commercials in the past.

The plan is for the stunt to take place on June 5.

With files from CBC Radio One's All Points West

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: This bird's for you: beer delivery by eagle stunt has conditional go-ahead, bird keeper says