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$900K for owls in Cape Coral, see how you can cash in

Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife told your Cape Coral Community Correspondent Colton Chavez they will purchase your property for the city's official bird.
Posted at 5:25 PM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 17:25:56-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — When it came to building more homes for burrowing owls, many said on Wednesday the $900,000 Florida Fish and Wildlife’s burrowing owl protection grant is worth every dollar.

Fox 4's Cape Coral Community Correspondent Colton Chavez met Tom and Patty Puidokas, smack dab in the middle of a Cape Coral neighborhood, where at one point, they had paid to live at.

“We were gonna build a house and we knew there was a burrow,” Patty said.

Patty said all that changed when they found out they could sell their property to the non-profit, Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife (CCFW), and turn it into a haven.

The grant the city will use to purchase more properties for burrowing owls was supposed to be approved at Wednesday's city council meeting, but Cheryl Anderson said it wasn’t.

“It’s a good thing you didn't talk to me yesterday," said Anderson.

Over the past two years, Anderson said CCFW had been working to finish this deal with the state.

She said the grant is tapping into money FWC had been collecting when homeowners pay to have owls relocated from a property.

Until it's approved by city council, Patty Puidokas said everyone will wait in anticipation for the deal to go through, with the hope it will happen soon.

“Once they are gone they are gone, you can't bring 'em back,” said Puidokas.

Click here to connect with CCFW.