A young bald eagle that was injured over a year ago that never regained the ability to fly has been looking for a forever home. The answer came last month when Amanda Badger, owner of Wild Hearts African Farm & Petting Zoo in Lewisburg made the journey to pick up the eagle that was recovering at Treasure Coast Wildlife Center in Florida.
The three-year-old eagle was injured after colliding with a car. Although the eagle underwent surgery the wing never healed well enough for her to fly again. Amanda heard about the eagle and reached out to Cabela’s and The Home Depot (Centerville) to request assistance in building the eagle an aviary. Both stores chipped in and have been eager to help every step of the way. Others chipped in to help the eagle too. Erica Keener, a local artist from West Alexandria, Oh painted a mural inside the aviary. Wysong Stone Company in Lewisburg donated the gravel for the aviary floor. A local farm donated meat rabbits to help feed the eagle. “It was wonderful how so many people offered to help her” said Amanda . She named the eagle Eleanor after her favorite Roosevelt quote “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
In order to home and care for the eagle, Amanda had to follow a complex application process meeting the strict criteria of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “I’m so glad we were able to help Eleanor, she will be a wonderful educational ambassador.” Although the African Farm plans to have pastures with livestock typically seen in Africa, they want to be able to help native wildlife too. Their farm currently has Nigerian dwarf dairy goats and they plan to add camels, guinea fowl, ostrich and other small wildlife. Goats milk cheese and soap products, along with duck eggs will also be available for purchase and those funds will help care for the animals.
The eagle’s new aviary home is in the petting zoo area of their 31 acre farm. You can see the eagle plus there are goats and ducks to feed, tortoises and guinea pigs to pet, as well as other non-releasable hawks and owls for viewing. Wild Hearts plans to open the petting zoo to the public later this summer. “Eleanor is very special, I can’t wait for the community to meet her!” Over the next two years Eleanor will mature and the hallmark white head and tail feathers will grown in.
You can help support the bald eagle care fund by making an online donation. Visitors can get up-close and personal with a variety of farm animals, raptors, reptiles, and other mammals by appointment. You can also book their Mobile Teaching Zoo for Education Programs! For more information, visit WildHeartsAfricanFarm.org or call 937-416-5520