On January 17, 2018, our beloved Ellie was found deceased in the aviary compartment that she and her mate, Mr. Roosevelt, occupied. There was no apparent injury – no visible sign of trauma. She was immediately taken to the University of Tennessee School of Veterinary Medicine, where an initial necropsy was performed. All tests to date came up negative. When we receive the final report, we hope to be able to provide more information. As you may well imagine, this was a devastating event for all our caregivers. Roo has been placed in the Pick-A-Mate section, where we hope he will find another companion.
MR. ROOSEVELT: Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Bald Eagle • Born: Unknown • Gender: Male
ELEANOR: Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Bald Eagle • Born:Unknown • Died: Jan. 17, 2018 • Gender: Female
‘Eleanor’ and ‘Mr. Roosevelt’ were a bonded non-releasable pair of Bald Eagles that lived in a private naturally landscaped aviary with a huge nest in Eagle Mountain Sanctuary at Dollywood.
This pair bonded years after they were both transferred to the American Eagle Foundation and placed in the “Pick-A-Mate” section of Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. In 2016, the American Eagle Foundation found two eggs that were laid on the ground in Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, and the eggs were taken to the American Eagle Foundation’s incubation room. One eaglet hatched but unfortunately didn’t make it past its second week.
Later that year, the pair was moved into its own breeding enclosure with its own manmade nest in order to properly mate and raise young!
In 2017, the pair successfully hatched and raised two eaglets! They became the stars of the Dollywood Eagle Cams project, impressing thousands of viewers with their impressive first-time parenting skills.
Eleanor sustained permanent injuries which prevented her release back into the wild. The bird was admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia as an adult on April 16, 2007. On initial presentation, Eleanor had a large open wound on the upper portion of the left wing caused by unknown trauma. The wound healed; however, as a result of the injury there was extensive damage to the feather follicles, creating a large feather gap in the secondary feathers between the wing and the body. Eleanor was treated with a series of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. She recovered well and was otherwise healthy despite her inability to fly well enough to survive in the wild.
Update: Feb. 14, 2018
On January 17, our beloved Ellie was found deceased in the aviary compartment that she and her mate, Mr. Roosevelt, occupied. There was no apparent injury – no visible sign of trauma. She was immediately taken to the University of Tennessee School of Veterinary Medicine, where an initial necropsy was performed. All tests to date came up negative. At present, a comprehensive pathological necropsy is still being conducted and when we receive the final report, we hope to be able to provide more information. As you may well imagine, this was a devastating event for all our caregivers.
We hope to give more information once the final necropsy report is released.
Mr. Roosevelt will be moved into the Pick-a-Mate section in hopes that he will find another companion with whom to bond.
Mr. Roosevelt’s Background:
Mr. Roosevelt was presented to the American Eagle Foundation and subsequently to the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center on June 2, 2011 for evaluation. Mr. Roosevelt originated in Arkansas and the rehabilitator there believed that the Eagle was non-releasable. The veterinarian’s examination revealed injuries to the left foot, wrist and elbow. Injuries to the foot and wrist were resolved, but the elbow became a chronic problem. Mr. Roosevelt was treated several times with antibiotics and the joint improved; however, it became apparent that Mr. Roosevelt wouldn’t be able to fly well enough to be released back into the wild and was transferred to American Eagle Foundation November 2011.
ABOUT BALD EAGLES
Bald Eagles typically mate for life. They will only look for a new mate if their faithful companion dies. Together, they build huge nests known as ‘aeries’ atop tall and strong trees. They make use of twigs, grasses, soft mosses, and feathers in making their nests.
They normally return to the same nest during breeding season, adding new materials to it each year. A new eagle pair’s nest measures about five feet in width and two feet in depth, but as they add to it year after year, it can reach widths of over ten feet and weigh up to a ton or more.