ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene Zoo has welcomed to newly rescued bald eagles to their flock.
Both 15-month-old Sparky and 16-month-old Leu have arrived at the zoo after being rehabilitated at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida.
The new bald eagle habitat at the zoo has been named the Keith Garner Bald Eagle Habitat, in memory of Abilene Zoological Society board member Keith Garner. EagleWatch, a program that oversees the safety and activity in Eagle's nests identified Sparkly and Leu as being in need of help, prompting their rehabilitation at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey. The young birds were deemed non-releasable by US Fish & Wildlife Service because of their inability to fly.
Sparkly and Leu are considered fully grown, but won't get their iconic white heads until they are five to seven years old.
“We are thrilled that after an extensive process of renovation and federal permitting we are bringing the first bald eagles to the Abilene Zoo,” said Abilene Zoo Director Jesse Pottebaum. “We thought the upcoming Memorial Day weekend was the perfect time to introduce these majestic birds to the community, honoring those who have died in service to our country.”