“Update on Eagle at the Wildlife Center of Virginia”
The following is from an announcement forwarded by the Wildlife Center of Virginia. As our veiwers may recall, in 2008 the DGIF Wildlife Veterninarian removed the lone eaglet from this nest due to a large and potentially life-threatening Avian Pox lesion. DGIF staff then transported the bird to the WCV for care. (photo courtesy of the Wildlife Center of Virginia)
The Wildlife Center of Virginia, the nation’s leading teaching and research hospital for wild animals, today announced that the Norfolk Botanical Garden Bald Eagle – admitted to the Center as a patient in May 2008 and an international “celebrity” – will become a permanent resident at the Center.
The Bald Eagle will become a member of the Center’s corps of non-releasable education animals, which includes hawks, owls, snakes, turtles, and opossums. In additional to being seen by visitors to the Wildlife Center, many of these animals travel with Center staff and take part in environmental education programs in elementary school classrooms and auditoriums and at libraries, county fairs, and other venues.
The announcement comes on the eagle’s second birthday – the eagle hatched from his egg in a nest at the Norfolk Botanical Garden on April 27, 2008.
The Center only gives names to those animals that are permanent residents. To date, the eagle has been known at the Center as #08-0887, his patient number. Now that he will be permanant resident he has been dubbed "Buddy" a name long used by many online fans of this bird.
Future plans for buddy inclkude new enclosure and possibly a webcam. Members of the Center’s rehabilitation staff started training Buddy in February 2010. The goal is to train the bird to sit calmly on a handler’s gloved hand, so that Buddy can be taken to programs and presentations off-site. The training process often takes many months of hard work – for both the eagle and the handlers.