(Photo courtesy of NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources)
The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is excited to announce Eagle Landing is set to open. The habitat for two flightless bald eagles, Uwohali and Shagoie Watha, is scheduled to open the fourth of July.
Like everything else on the coast, the habitat previously set to open Memorial Day, was delayed due to the ongoing effects of Hurricane Florence. “It is a trickle-down effect. Materials and labor were hard to get into place after the hurricane,” said Clint Taylor, aquarium curator. “Although the habitat was completed by Memorial Day, we also needed time to allow the birds to acclimate to their new environment. Moving the habitat opening date was the best thing to do for the welfare of animals in our care.”
Eagle Landing is a 3000
“I have wanted to work with eagles in any capacity my entire life,” said Amanda Goble, the aquariums’ aviculturist, who has worked with birds for more than 10 years. “This is truly a childhood dream. Being able to care for them and work with them every day is a huge responsibility and a complete honor.”
Aquarium staff thought the birds should have names that truly describe the strength and resilience both birds have shown, and that also reflected the eagle’s strong connection to American Indian culture found in North Carolina. The aquarium worked closely with the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs and North Carolina’s tribes to create a short list of names for each bird and Facebook fans were offered the chance to vote for the names in March. Naming is an important part of the care and training of each bird. It helps build relationships between trainer and bird, fosters respect and awareness for the animal, and creates a connection with visitors. The birds are trained through positive reinforcement to build new skills and learn new behaviors. This helps with health assessments and veterinary care, and also enables the birds to be comfortable in new situations. This was especially important last year before Hurricane Florence when other birds in the aquarium’s care were moved to new and safer locations inside the building during the storm.
Click here to visit the the website of the aquarium.