The EcoTarium Welcomes New Resident Bald Eagle
Worcester, Mass. – May 8, 2018 – The EcoTarium museum of science and nature is thrilled to announce a brand new resident – Bob, a young adult male bald eagle. Placed at the EcoTarium after his wildlife rehabilitators determined that he would never be able to be released to the wild due to lack of flight, Bob has had his intake veterinary exam with museum veterinarians from Tufts Wildlife Clinic, and began the long training process with the EcoTarium Wildlife Department keepers. The purpose of Bob’s training, like that of all of the animals at the museum, is to allow him to cooperate in his own care, with such behaviors as standing on a scale so his weight can be monitored. The EcoTarium serves as home to a wide variety of animals, from owls to turtles to bald eagles. The majority of animals living on the museum grounds have experienced injuries, illness, human socialization, or other issues which prevent them from being re-released to the wild. All enclosures have been specially designed to meet the natural needs of the species as well as to accommodate any physical limitations of the individual animal. Many animal homes and enclosures include quiet areas, where they are able to rest. All animals receive regular check-ups from their vets and daily interaction with their caretakers.
Bob came to the EcoTarium via the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida (aka Bald Eagle 709-16). Estimated at around seven years old, Bob arrived at the center in October, 2016, where he received treatment for a dislocated right elbow. After extensive rehabilitation, including time in a 100-foot flight cage, it became clear that he would never regain the flight needed to thrive in the wild.
At the end of last month, the EcoTarium humanely euthanized Justice, the museum’s longest-residing bald eagle, due to quality of life decisions made by staff and Tufts Wildlife Clinic. He was believed to be one of the oldest bald eagles under human care. The average age of bald eagles in the natural habitat is mid-twenties to early thirties, Justice was in his mid-forties.
Bob’s time waiting for a permanent home was spent in the flight cage with other rehabbing eagles, many of whom recovered and returned to the wild. Rehabilitation staff noticed that Bob was often a comforting influence for young eaglets who lived with him in the flight cage.
For now, Bob will live solo on exhibit to enable an adjustment to his new surroundings. The EcoTarium plans to place a second eagle in the enclosure, once both Bob and his future enclosure mate are ready.
About the EcoTarium
EcoTarium is New England’s leading museum of science and nature, an indoor-outdoor experience dedicated to inspiring a passion for science and nature in visitors of all ages. Founded in 1825, it has been a leader in informal science and nature education for nearly 200 years, and today welcomes more than 165,000 visitors per year. Highlights of the 55-acre campus include a museum building with three floors of interactive exhibits, the Alden Digital Planetarium: A National Geographic Theater, daily Science Discovery programs, live animal habitats, nature trails through forest and meadow, seasonal narrow-gauge railroad Explorer Express Train, and its expansive interactive outdoor exhibit, Nature Explore®. It also offers a variety of sponsorship, membership, and giving opportunities for businesses and organizations.
The EcoTarium, located at 222 Harrington Way in Worcester, Mass., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sundays 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. General admission is $18 for adults, $14 for children 2-18, $14 for seniors 65+ and students with ID, and children under 2 are free. Planetarium shows and Explorer Express Train require additional ticket. Parking is free. For more information, visit ecotarium.org.