Help bring a bald eagle to Zoo Atlanta!
It’s the symbol of our country, an emblem of American patriotism and a spectacular ambassador from our own North American backyard, and you can help bring one to the Zoo.
Thanks to an exciting new crowdfunding opportunity, our friends at SterlingFunder invite you to be part of the campaign to give an American icon a new home at Zoo Atlanta.
We are you sure you want to know more, so we’ve prepared these FAQs:
Why is Zoo Atlanta interested in adding a bald eagle to the collection?
The bald eagle is our national bird and national animal and is a beloved and charismatic representative of the spectacular native wildlife of North America. Such an animal would be an ideal member of the Zoo’s collection for its ability not just to inspire visitors, but also to help educate the public on the need to protect our valuable native wildlife.
How much will this cost?
Zoo Atlanta seeks to raise $10,000 for this project. This cost would include everything from the federal permit to the eagle’s diet. Here is the budget breakdown:
Exhibit Construction Costs
|Materials and Equipment||
|Pump / Pre-Filter for Exhibit||
Eagle Related Costs
|Eagle Acquisition (Staff Travel and Eagle Shipping)||
|Eagle gloves for handlers||
|Cost of food for first year at $3.00 per day||
How do I donate to the project?
This campaign is being crowd-funded by SterlingFunder. Crowdfunding works to raise small amounts of money from a large group of people, usually online.
Are there benefits to donating?
Yes, there are many benefits to participating at a variety of levels of participation. Benefit levels begin at $30 and continue to increase up to the $5,000 level, but donations of any amount are welcome.
How will my money be used?
Funds will purchase the federal permit and support the construction of the eagle’s new exhibit adjacent to the Zoo’s Wildlife Theater; travel and acquisition expenses for Zoo animal care staff; purchase a pool filter and pump and rain shelter for the eagle’s habitat; purchase eagle gloves for care staff; purchase the eagle’s food for its first year at Zoo Atlanta; and provide interpretive signage for the habitat.
What is the process required for acquiring a bald eagle?
Zoo Atlanta must first construct a bald eagle habitat; per Georgia state law, the habitat must then be approved by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Upon DNR approval, the Zoo may then apply for an eagle holding permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Where will the Zoo get the eagle?
Upon receiving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit, the Zoo will work with federal agencies to identify a suitable bird. The ideal bird would be a non-flighted eagle which has been rehabilitated and is accustomed to human care.
Would the Zoo get an eagle that could have otherwise been returned to the wild?
No. All rehabilitated bald eagles which are considered releasable to the wild are released to the wild. Any eagle the Zoo would acquire would be in need of a permanent home and would not be a candidate for re-release into the wild.
I’ve seen photos of young bald eagles online, and they didn’t look at all like what I expected. Why?
Bald eagles don’t acquire all of their adult plumage – the familiar stark white head against a dark brown body – until they are around 5 years old. Younger eagles are more uniformly brown and are sometimes mistaken for golden eagles.