Northwest Trek Wildlife Park said the park’s oldest resident, a 35-year-old male golden eagle, has died.
The eagle died Wednesday afternoon.
The eagle came to Northwest Trek in 1978, three years after the park opened. He had suffered a permanently disabling wing injury and was unable to fly.
“It is always difficult losing an animal,” said Animal Curator Rich Sartor, “but this is especially hard since the eagle has been here for so long. He was our most senior citizen, and will really be missed.”
Animal care staff were performing a standard handling procedure on the eagle’s female exhibit mate when the male eagle died, according to a park press release.
The eagle showed no external evidence of trauma or health concerns before or during the routine keeper visit and, in typical fashion, kept his distance from them while they worked with the female.
The park’s staff veterinarian will perform a necropsy to identify a specific cause of death.