13-Week-Old Bald Eaglet “Hope” Released into Wild to Honor Orlando Shooting Victims
June 24th, 2016
On Friday morning, June 24th, the non-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF) released a 13-week-old Bald Eaglet named “Hope” (patagial tag “H6”) into the wild to remember and honor the 49 victims who were recently killed in the Orlando mass shooting on June 12, 2016. Photos ©2016 American Eagle Foundation
Pigeon Forge, TN – On Friday morning, June 24th, the non-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF) released a 13-week-old Bald Eaglet into the wild to remember and honor the 49 victims who were recently killed in the Orlando mass shooting on June 12th, 2016.
This Eaglet was hatched in captivity by one of the AEF’s non-releasable Bald Eagle Breeding pairs at its national eagle center and bird-care facility in Pigeon Forge, TN. After living with its parents for about 7 weeks, the eaglet and its sibling were transferred to the AEF’s “Hack Tower” (or Artificial Nesting Tower) on Douglas Lake in Dandridge, TN.
“The eaglet has been named ‘Hope’ to honor those whose lives were taken in this horrible tragedy,” says AEF Founder and President Al Cecere. “Nothing can take away the pain of losing a loved one, but this is the very least that the AEF could do to symbolically remember and pay tribute to these 49 individuals and possibly bring just a little bit of healing to their friends and family.”
The American Eagle Foundation has been releasing captive-hatched and translocated eaglets into the wild from its Douglas Lake Hack Towers since the early 90s. “Hope” is the 148th eaglet the AEF has released on Douglas Lake, but the AEF has participated in hundreds of other eaglet releases throughout Tennessee. The purpose of the AEF’s breed-and-release program is to help repopulate Bald Eagles in East Tennessee.
“Hope” is wearing a green and orange patagial wing tag marked “H6.” The AEF is hopeful to receive photos of the eaglet in the wild wearing this tag in the weeks and months to come to ensure that it has survived its critical first year in the wild.
About the American Eagle Foundation
The American Eagle Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to care for, restore and protect the USA’ s living symbol of freedom, the Bald Eagle, and other birds of prey. The AEF is celebrating its 31st year of carrying out its mission through Education, Repopulation , Conservation, & Rehabilitation. It is headquartered in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains at Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, TN. Learn more at www.eagles.org.
Julia Cecere, 865-234-0431
AEF Founder and President